Character education is a key component in THINK Together extended learning time programs. Sometimes it takes a little more than just teaching students that character matters, sometimes it takes some inspiration.
Northview Intermediate in Duarte held a weeklong event to promote anti-bullying and awareness. Site Coordinator Unique Landrum partnered up with the school counselor Heidi Quirk to THINK Together and coordinate the week’s events and create a new video called “I Matter.”
Each day, there was a theme, which included recycling, the elderly, homelessness and bullying.
Each morning for that week, the students at Northview Intermediate would all hear an announcement that would state facts and statistics about each topic. This provided staff and students with a time to reflect as a whole school about issues that face everyone, everyday.
Continuing with the day’s theme, first period teachers led an activity with students that related to the day’s topic along with themed lunchtime activities.
Adding to the awareness vibe a wall of gratitude was also created. Students put up praises for people on this wall. Which of course became contagious.
The nearby senior center even had a few of their senior volunteers come out and talk to the students.
THINK Together site coordinator Unique put together a video that had students and school staff telling students that they mattered and why.
The video was shown at the school’s Friday assembly and Frances Vazquez, THINK Together Middle School Specialist, was a guest speaker. Frances spoke to students about her background as well as discussing bullying and her experiences with it.
“I shared my personal story of my time in junior high and how I had to overcome some obstacles,” says Frances Vazquez. “I had many positive influences outside of my family that helped me become successful. By sharing my story I hope to inspire students to believe in themselves and their future.”
The students were thankful for having someone share their story with them. One student said, “I like what Frances had to say, it was inspiring!”
And another student stated, “I really like what Frances had to say. Her story was just like my story in fourth grade. I couldn’t read so I was held back. It spoke to me.”
And now without further ado, THINK Together Northview Intermediate presents the “I Matter” video: