Students raise money for cancer

Beverly-Center students recently completed their annual “Coins for Cancer” fundraiser for the BrAva organization. This year, classes raised over $1400 in a week’s time, with Mrs. McIntyre’s and Mrs. Spurr’s fourth grade classes winning top honors. Students were rewarded with a dance party and ice cream party to celebrate and congratulate them for their hard work for such a wonderful cause. The event was organized by Title 1 teacher Mrs. Beth Haines.

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“START WITH HELLO” CHALLENGE

On September 20th, Beverly-Center sixth graders met with a speaker from the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation who spoke with students and presented the challenge of “Starting with Hello”.

“Starting with Hello” enables students to make a difference with their classmates in a simple, fun, and impactful way by encouraging them to take small, but important, actions to promote connectedness and inclusion. It also helps identify others who are showing signs of social isolation, that overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely, or treated like they are invisible. Young people with these feelings often pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development, or choose to hurt themselves or others.

The program continued with students meeting with their teacher and principal Megan Miller to form a plan of what they could do at Beverly-Center. Their many excellent ideas helped them form a plan to be ‘UpStanders’ on the playground by being aware and monitoring all areas on the playground to be sure all students are included and have someone to spend their time with. Another meeting will be held in a few weeks to develop a plan to find ways to include everyone in the cafeteria.

Just what does it mean to be an ‘upstander’? Students are encouraged to take these steps: take action by telling the bully to stop; take action by getting others to stand up with you to the bully; take action by helping the victim; take action by shifting the focus and redirecting the bully away from the victim; and take action by telling an adult who can help.

Being an ‘upstander’ offers many qualities to students. They can learn to be courageous by telling a friend who is bullying to stop. This is hard and can cause hurt feelings, but the student won’t feel guilty for being silent and allowing the bullying to continue, plus, the friend will be helped by having the hurtful behavior stop.

Being action-oriented allows students to do something that doesn’t support the bullying behavior and can end up being a really small intervention with big results. The small statement ‘That is bullying.’ can cause others to take a second look and recognize their own problem.

Being assertive by telling a friend how their behavior makes a classmate — or themselves — feel and how it affects others requires being able to ‘stick up for themselves’.

Another strong characteristic of an ‘upstander’ is compassion. They can recognize when someone is hurt and take steps to help.

Finally, students learned ‘upstanders’ are leaders in their social group by helping others to recognize ways to get a long and be supportive towards others.

This program will continue throughout the school year with other areas of focus being selected. Next up is being ‘upstanders’ in the school cafeteria.

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Sue Sampson is a longtime columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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