Outstanding UPstanders at Cherry
At Cherry Avenue, “UPstander Week” was a new collaboration between the PTA board (comprised of six parents) and school Social Worker Naomi Barzcak in response to the new Dignity For All Students Act, effective since July 2012.
At the beginning of the year, upon learning about DASA, the Cherry PTA board members “wanted to run a program to support our school,” explained PTA President Marisa Milo. “Mrs. Barczak had the same thought, so we joined forces! On behalf of the PTA board, I met several times with Mrs. Barczak, and we brainstormed and created ‘UPstander Week’—a weeklong program that tailored the anti-bullying message in an age appropriate manner.”
UPstanders Week turned out to be more than the committee and Mrs. Barzcak had hoped—it was a huge success!
UPstanders had four main elements to the program:
1. A PTA sponsored cultural arts program—the Prismatic Laser Light Show—that brought the UPstander messages to the students in an engaging and interactive program.
2. Daily Activities: Each day the children were encouraged to wear something specific to show their support of a different goal.
3. Each day during morning announcements, Dr. Stimmel gave an UPstander Challenge of the Day. The challenges were as follow:
- MONDAY: An UPstander makes a choice not to walk by, but to make things better. Pick up a piece of garbage in the hallway, lend an ear to an upset friend, stand up for someone who is being hurt with words—whatever you decide—make a choice to make something better during school today.
- TUESDAY: The best thing you can do for a kid who is being bullied is to be their friend. Make one new friend at Cherry today who is in a different grade or class than you.
- WEDNESDAY: Say hi to three new people who you don’t know today
- THURSDAY: Ask someone to play today—either someone new or someone who looks like they are alone.
- FRIDAY: Sit by someone at lunch today that you’ve never sat next to—you will get to know someone new and may even make a new friend!
4. Bulletin boards around the school helped educate children on what an UPstander is exactly and how any child can be one.
- In the cafeteria, the bulletin boards were decorated with an oceanic them that read: We may be different fish, but at Cherry, we all swim together.
o On Monday, each child in school was given a paper fish to decorate. They wrote one way to be kind to others on their fish, and then decorated it to show their unique personality. The fish were posted in the cafeteria all week, and made for quite a beautiful display!
- In support of the program, the student council also made large posters to decorate the school with the “Be An UPstander” theme.
“We are very proud of our UPstander Week,” Mrs. Milo continued. “We knew it was a success when we saw the children wearing their colors each day and how they took such pride in meeting the daily challenges. Overall, we received positive feedback from Dr. Stimmel, staff and parents, too.”