LIVINGSTON, NJ - Be a Buddy, Not a Bully is the message that members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 20384, Megan Downey, Alyssa Falchetta, Abby Newell, Vanessa Reba, and Shira Salzman want everyone to hear as they work toward earning their Bronze Award. The girls, who are in the 5th grade at Collins Elementary School said they feel the world needs a change—and that change could start with them.
Since October 2013, Troop 20384 has been diligently working on their Bronze Award project under the guidance of leaders Beth Downey and Christine Falchetta, in an effort to stop bullying. Leaders said that in order to earn their Bronze Award, the third highest award in Girl Scouting, each of the girls has contributed a minimum of 20 hours promoting the issue of anti-bullying.
Recently, at a National Day of Service event held at the Livingston High School on Martin Luther King Day, Troop 20384 designed and created an interactive digital experience for Event Visitors promoting their anti-bullying message, which included a PowerPoint presentation, a Troop designed coloring page, customized anti-bullying word searches and paper fortune tellers focusing on the anti-bullying theme.
Troop Members also created a written anti-bullying pledge that100 people signed agreeing to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, and promised to use kind words so they would never hurt someone unintentionally or on purpose. People also pledged to be good citizens in their communities and help put an end to bullying.
To ensure the sustainability of their anti-bullying message, the girls made a video which has been posted on the Internet, and community websites, and will be run on Livingston’s cable television channel.
In addition, the project's video, printable coloring pages, word search, fortune teller and pledge will be incorporated into Collins Elementary School's Anti bullying curriculum, during future Anti Bullying month lessons in October, according to Mrs. Carter, School Guidance Counselor.
The girls said they hope to empower people to make the decision to stop bullying through this project.
If it were up to them, “bullying would stop right here, right now!”
10 Facts about Bullying - from the video:
- Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year.
- One in four teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene four percent of the time.
- Approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying.
- One in seven students in grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.
- 56 percent of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school.
- Over two-thirds of students believe that schools respond poorly to bullying, with a high percentage of students believing that adult help is infrequent and ineffective.
- 71 percent of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school.
- 90 percent of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying.
- 10 out of 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying.
- Harassment and bullying have been linked to 76 percent of school shooting incidents.
What You Can Do to Stop Bullying – from the video
- Look for signs of trouble.
- If you see something: Say something to an adult; Step in.
- Stand up for someone being bullied.
- Ask someone to be a friend.
- Invite someone to be included or involved.
- Keep your power. Don’t let someone take your or your friends’ power.
- Don’t step on others to get to the top.
- Be yourself.
- Remember the Golden Rule—Treat others the way you want to be treated.