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Bullying awareness movie a success

October 5, 2012

 

I wanted to thank Wendilyn Grasseschi and the Mammoth Times for the article on my bullying awareness movie in last week’s issue.

I would like to make a clarification on what Peace Project is or was: it was only one small but important facet of the Caring and Courageous Kids program.

What I noticed over time was that many of the relational bullying problems occurred during recess time.

It was my way of “walking the talk” and offering pro-social activities for students.

Many of the students who came to me for help were the ones who ended up coming to a recess-alternative “Seeds of Peace Project” to participate in activities such as learning sign language, singing songs, listening to a story, drawing pictures, chalk art outside, and playing a group game, which they could easily do with friends on their own time.

We did not really do “bullying prevention” per se at this time because there wasn’t enough time (only about 15 minutes), but it was pro-social activities.

I also offered it as a peaceful, safe room to come to for some of my own students who have social challenges with their peers on the playground.

Second recess was set up with soothing relaxation music and the kids could come relax and/or look at books from a library I created out of my own pocket.

This was done while I did paperwork during my lunchtime.

At times throughout the year I did an after school “Peace Project” program in which we did a two-hour class of bullying prevention projects preparing YouTube style videos to prepare for our character assemblies—something that had recently been written into the Safety Plan to be in accordance with state laws on bullying prevention education.

Rosanne Lampariello, principal, had given me full reign on this. I just wanted to clarify that.

Other than recess “Seeds of Peace Project,” all other work I did on Caring and Courageous Kids was done on my own time after school and evenings/weekends which included bulletin boards, research, preparing for our assemblies, etc.

I also wanted to thank those of you in the community (families, community members) who showed up for the premiere of “Which Team Will You Choose?”

It was a successful event, based on the turnout and the feedback from those who attended.

It was a fun evening for the actors in the story, especially our six MES and MHS students who were the “stars” of the night, seeing the movie for the first time with their families and friends.

They were glowing and for good reason. They did an amazing job committing to this project and helping it turn into a movie that will surely inspire others with ideas for standing up and saying or doing something when bullying occurs in a positive, light-hearted way.

If anyone would like this movie shown at their organization (sports teams, scouts, etc.) or would like to order your own copy of the movie, contact me.

I have resigned my position as Speech-Language Therapist for Mono County Office of Education.

I will truly miss the students—we had some very tearful good-byes on Monday—but I hope to provide future after-school or evening classes for students as well as for caring adults.

Dee DiGioia

Mammoth Lakes

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