Helping Kids Flourish in Kindergarten and Beyond
This Wednesday, 12/9/09 we were fortunate to have a wonderful Project Cornerstone Parent Volunteer come into our class to read a book called, Say Something. Next week I will send home the Project Cornerstone flyer which describes the objectives of the book and lesson. For now here is a summary/review from Amazon:  Can one person make a difference? Moss' obviously didactic book, which seems designed for group discussion about bullying, focuses on the role of the bystander, a girl who sees the sadness of the victim but does nothing ("I walk on the other side of the hall. I don't say those things"). Realistic, lively watercolor illustrations show the child in a diverse school community, where kids are picked on and called names for being slow or different. The girl feels sad for them, but she looks away--until one day, when she is alone, the bullies make her cry, and her friends do nothing. The dramatic climax is quiet: the girl reaches out to a child who always sits alone on the bus, and the children have fun together. This is one of the best of the recent books for discussion about teasing; its direct, first-person narrative and informal portraits bring close classroom, hallway, and schoolyard scenarios for kids and adults to talk about. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association.

The main message we want to convey is that our kids can become empowered to become problem solvers at school and in life. We want them to not only walk away from "bullying" or "bothering" type situations and seek help, but to learn how to offer a kind word and be a caring friend to "all" kids, especially those who appear "different" from them or seem sad or lonely at school.
After this lesson, I made the following cartoon and today I presented it to the class. The kids enthusiastically recalled the message of the book,  Say Something  and enjoyed seeing the characters of "our cartoon" taking part in helping behaviors. The "pawprint" in the cartoon refers to a small slip of paper that Capri students receive at recess and around school for exhibiting respectful, responsible and safe behavior, the traits of our school-wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support program. The pawprints are collected in a class "paw" holder and added up at the end of each month. Classes with the most pawprints receive a treat/celebration from Mr. Wilce, our principal.
Learning how to be a kind, caring and involved citizen is important for school and life success!

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