CHATHAM, NJ - Kids get it. They made the promise. To be better, to do better than just saying the word, RESPECT. Children at Southern Boulevard School (SBS) made pinwheels signed with their names as a commitment to be tolerant.
 
The display of pinwheels was the culmination of “The Week of Respect” observed in all New Jersey schools. 
 
 
The pinwheel project was the brainchild of SBS Principal Robert Gardella, who said, ”The concept of respect is broad, and can be elusive to children. We chose to focus on tolerance with the hope of reaching children with messages about the impact that we have on our community when we embrace the differences in one another. The pinwheels represent our individual commitments to tolerant behaviors, and serve as a visual demonstration of our collective commitments to our community.
 
"We infused tolerance into our curricula in a variety of content areas throughout the week, and will continue to build on these efforts throughout the year. The greatest measure of success in this endeavor is our students' ability to explain 

the pinwheel promise to their families, friends and neighbors.”
 
Over the course of two weeks, students created nearly 500 pinwheels in a variety of colors to illustrate the uniqueness of each child. Every student signed their pinwheel as a promise to be respectful, accepting, and tolerant of others. On 
 
Thursday, the pinwheels were planted on the school’s front lawn to reflect the spirit of community. School Counselor Abby Silverman has been responsible for providing classroom character education support to the teaching staff.
 
“In a very tangible manner, students have planted a patch of Pinwheel Promises providing a brilliantly colorful reminder that our each of our students have united in their commitment to tolerant behaviors,” Silverman said. “I know that our community can come together to nurture our students' promises to fruition, so that we may sustain a school climate and culture whereby kindness, empathy, compassion, and tolerant behaviors are the norm.”
 
The Week of Respect was adopted in 2011 as part of the strengthening of New Jersey’s Anti-bullying laws. School districts, in order to recognize the importance of character education, are required to observe the week by providing age-appropriate instruction focusing on preventing harassment, intimation or bullying Southern Boulevard School is a Kindergarten through Grade 3 elementary school.