SAS Middle School participated in our Olweus Anti-Bullying Kickoff
On Thursday, September 8th, 2016, the students at the Syracuse Academy of Science Middle School participated in our Olweus Anti-Bullying Kickoff. This research based program is intended to bring bullying out of the shadows and make it part of a central conversation to improve awareness. Classrooms circulated between three areas, classroom, the cafeteria for a guest speaker, and the gym. First, students participated in a classroom meeting with a team building activity that they roleplayed various situations that were designed to get students to move from being a bullying bystander to helping address and prevent it. In addition, students participated in a t-shirt design contest as they drew logos with anti-bullying messages. Lastly, Students participated in team building activities around the gym designed to build skills in communication, problem solving, and listening. Secondly, we had guest speakers, Jami Ryan and Maureen Foran-Mocete, and their team from the Child Advocacy Center, who presented to each grade level at Syracuse Academy Middle School. Their presentation focused on bullying prevention and how to turn bystanders into upstanders. The scholars were engaged and participated in answering and asking questions. Lastly, grade levels enjoyed different activities in the gym. The first activity focused on communication. Students worked in pairs to give verbal directions to a partner as they draw a simple image. The entire group shared their image to see which pair was able to communicate and recreate the image closest to the actual picture. The following three activities focused on trust, communication, and listening skills. Students work in pairs to guide their partner through a "mine field" while they are blind folded. Students had to get to the other side without hitting any of the items. A variation of this game required students to walk to a location blind folded and retrieve as many items as they could as their partner guided them verbally. Additionally, students worked in teams to get from one end of the gym to the other through a "sea of hot chocolate" as they stepped on "marshmallows". The last station was a photo booth where students formed many group poses with props to help send a "No Bullying" message. Students were good sports and enjoyed working in a variety of groups and pairs.