For the past three Fridays, Warren Area Elementary Center's second-grade students have traded regular recess for special bully prevention activities.
Staff at WAEC have developed small "positive behavior anti-bullying" programs that are conducted by community members as well as teaching staff to continue reinforcement of the Olweus Bullying program implemented in late January.
The activities are offered as an earned privilege for the student who displays positive actions and follows the weekly message by "Miss Manners," a TV personality created by community member Gillian Rapp, who offers positive messages on topics such as respect, cooperation, honesty and responsibility.
"The students have really taken to these activities and really enjoyed participating," said Rhonda Decker, assistant principal at WAEC. "We really have appreciated all the support from the community and their dedication to the students. "
The students participate in a variety of activities such as bubbleology, stamping , sign language, cooking, Spanish lessons, spool knitting, exploring different countries, arts and crafts, woodworking, painting, building and board games, storytelling and dance and drawing.
In addition to the second graders special program activities, the rest of the school has also participated in the anti-bullying initiative.
Deb Jannotti, WAEC's school counselor, presented a "Sexual Harassment" prevention class lesson to all fifth graders and Principal Ruth Nelson runs a "lunch bunch" that promotes pro-social skills such as manners at the dinner table and in the community.
Lorrie Mineweaser, WAEC support staff and Olweus media specialist, designed and created posters for each classroom. She incorporated the motto, "WAEC Stands Together Against Bullying" and helped each classroom decorate and sign a shoe as a pledge that was attached to the poster.
Class meetings have been also held in each of the second- through fifth-grade classrooms to discuss what is bullying, how to make the rules happen in the school, how to help someone who is bullied and incidents that have happened during the week.
"We thought this was a great idea to continue to incorporate the Olweus Anti-Bullying Program throughout the school as well as the community," said Decker.