Thursday was “The Care for Others – Names Can Hurt us Day” in Greenwich Public Schools. Throughout the day each school observed the day in its own unique event. The goal was to promote a safe school climate by fostering social-emotional skills while reinforcing the district’s norms:
- Be Here
- Be Safe
- Be Honest
- Care for Self and Others
- Let Go and Move On.
At North Street School, student teacher for PE, Jay D’Andrea came up with a simple but effective concept for a meaningful anti-bullying event at the school.
For fifteen minutes at the end of the day, the entire school headed out to the field, where for 15 minutes children could run or walk the loop. All along the course were jumbo posters created by Mrs. Jagodinski’s 5th graders. The posters, each creative and thoughtful, were positioned at intervals for children to reflect on as they moved around the perimeter. In fact, it was easy to catch students stop and lose themselves for a moment in thought.
“They really own it,” Mrs. Jagodinski said. “To me the best part was having the children go and read the messages on the signs and take the messages and reflect on them. Because it is school-wide, it has a greater impact.”
North Street School Principal Jill Flood said that although Thursday was the official, “Care for Others – Names Can Hurt us Day,” every day at North Street this is a theme. Flood said students take the school pledge and repeat the norms every single day, and during the daily announcements over the PA system, they give a shout out to individual children who were caught in an act of kindness, or doing the right thing.
At 2:45pm, hundreds of students burst through the doors and headed out to the field for the walk-run in honor of the anti-bullying event. Jagodinski was all smiles. “They’re learning to do the right thing,” she said. “I think it’s having a snowball effect.”