Throughout the month of November, students and staff participated in a variety of community-building activities. Some cross-grade group work resulted in the entire student body “Taking the Pledge” against bullying.
During the week of November 26, our Stand Up 2012 activities centred around the continued growth of a safe and supportive community. In assembly, our Grade 12 Geomatics class presented the results of our school-wide survey on bullying conducted at the beginning of November. Students used the results to create a map of where bullying was reported as taking place in the school. The results revealed that the level of bullying reported was incredibly low, but there are areas upon which we can improve.
Students were also introduced to two different ways of making positive change. First, in adviser sessions, students were guided through the T.H.I.N.K. strategy, using websites created by Todd Harrison’s Media Studies class. Building on the W.I.S.E. strategy (Walk away, Inform someone, Stay strong/Safety in numbers, Exercise humour) introduced at the beginning of November, T.H.I.N.K. asks students to question any text, email or post and ask themselves whether it is:
If the answer to any of these is “no”, then it shouldn’t be sent. Each site has a message that is tailored to different grade ranges:
The Diversity Committee has also launched the Smile Epidemic. This is an inspiring social media campaign launched by a Canadian to help build connections and smiles in communities around Canada. Our students participate by taking a picture of their smile and describing why they are smiling, and printing it off to put up around the school. Students can also share their smiles on Twitter (search hashtags #GCSSmile and #30daysofhappiness to see what our students are smiling about). We want to align the Smile Epidemic with the locations where bullying was indicated on the maps throughout the school.
Over the past month, students have been engaged with a strong and positive message about building a strong and supportive community. Grade-specific delivery of this message resulted in some important reflection in adviser sessions across grades, as well as the development of consciousness of how individuals can continue to create safe and supportive places throughout the school. This month has provided a common language, and a strong foundation upon which to build throughout the year.
If you come to Greenwood in the future, be sure to bring your own smile!