OCTOBER WAS NATIONAL BULLYING AWARENESS MONTH — GIRLS BREAKING BOUNDARIES at Bates Middle School in Annapolis are learning how to discover their own inner-awesome superpowers! — And, that promotes NO MORE BULLYING!
My presentation to the 6th, 7th, 8th graders about “I AM –––?” — they began to tell me, and describe who they are, with confidence — again, I left with my eyes filled with emotion, and I see the results of the JNP stories and self-esteem tools!
Source: David-Ferdon C, Hertz MF. Electronic media and youth violence: A CDC issue brief for researchers. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2009. Available at www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/Electronic_Aggression_Researcher_Brief-a.pdf
STOMP OUT BULLYING — YOU CAN BE PART OF THE SOLUTION! Click here to find out how.
“ Girls Breaking Boundaries has benefited greatly from The JNP Project. Just one year ago, the girls of Girls Breaking Boundaries were shy, soft-spoken girls. Those girls are now speaking up and speaking out, and, undoubtedly, Dona and the JNP Project has been pivotal in this growth. The girls look forward to Dona’s visits, as she is a positive force in shaping who they are becoming. She shares the themes of truth and kindness though The JNP books, guiding the girls to develop a strong sense of self. And with new Girls Breaking Boundaries members this year, I am excited to see their growth with Dona’s support and proud that current members will mentor the new ones.“
Megan Zimmerman, M.A.
Grade 7 Language Arts Teacher, Bates Middle School
On my second visit (in the series of four for bullying awareness) to Bates Middle School, Girls Breaking Boundaries, some of the girls had become more open and comfortable with me, this being my second year in presenting to the group.
We read Jane & Jake’s Adventures to Awesome Truth and focused on the positive aspects of character, and how that makes for a strong inner awesome (self-esteem). The group discussed what a strong self-esteem would do in the case of being bullied or seeing a friend bullied. It was a powerful conversation, as every single girl told the truth and raised their hand when I asked if any of them had been involved with bullying (these kids were 6th, 7th, and 8th graders).
Oracle’s Blue Verse summed it up about how some of them felt when they were bullied:
Bub A O-o-h,
You’re feeling blue
Your colors are sad,
But still, they’re true–
It’s okay to feel down
I know you’ll remember
To turn it around!
Only YOU can make your feelings!
It was POWERFUL as I realized that the kids understood how “they” had the power to “make their feelings” and be sad, or angry, or resentful against a bully or in a bullying situation. They each had CONTROL and were EMPOWERED to make the right choice on how to handle the situation and be the “I AM ME” person to stand up to torment and abusive bullying treatment from anybody, and NOT let negative actions control how they could feel or act.
We reviewed the chapters about Truth and being friends —what it meant to tell each other the truth in kind ways, and not in a harsh way that could be construed as bullying. I told each of them that THEY had the power to either I WILL or I WILL NOT be bullied or be a bully. I saw faces light up as they realized their own inner awesome superpowers.
I gave them a homework assignment to color in an “I AM ME” graphic along with their “Circle of Power” (the 10 pearls of power for our character traits: Truth, Kindness, Harmony, Forgiveness, Giving, Love, Determination, Compassion, Strength, and Character). They completed them and we discussed their work. Each image was different in color and style I explained, and pointed out my perception of the “character” of each person who colored the images.
One was bold and bright. Another was full of color like a rainbow. High energy came through in another, and calm and a solid base was illustrated from another girl’s artwork. Totally amazing; no, totally awesome! This exercise truly showed me that they listed to the words they were reading off the pages of Jane & Jake’s Adventures to Awesome Truth, and that they took away something powerful from the adventure and illustrated it from their inner awesome selves.
As I was getting ready to leave, I said goodbye and noted I would see them in a few weeks at their Field Trip event to JNP. One of the girls came up to me and gave me such a tight hug I thought I was going to break. I was so surprised that I wasn’t sure what to do. I saw the teacher looking over at me with a huge smile, and waving her hands as the girl left the room—I thought she was going to tell me that I did something wrong, when in fact, she said, “Do you have any idea what just happened?” I did not.
The teacher went on to explain that the student never opened up to anybody, and two years ago, she was lying to the principal and her mother, cutting school and not participating—going down a bad road. The teacher got her into Girls Break Boundaries, and she tells me that because I had been there, and they were reading and working on JNP stories, the girls lives were changed for the better. But, especially this one girl. She was so grateful to read and be told that she had the superpowers to be empowered and make her own choices in I AM. I CAN. I WILL (or I will not).
I was moved to tears as the teacher declared what JNP was doing for these kids. The teacher thanked me over and over, and praised the work all of us have done to create JNP tools nurturing character, courage, and confidence.
I am seeing it for myself, that kids are growing stronger for being exposed to JNP adventures and tools—it is my personal mission to get this to as many kids as possible, with the help of everybody who is passionate about our youth, and the future of this country.
Get on board to STOMP OUT BULLYING—GO JNP!
Jane NOT Plain, our lead character in Jane & Jake’s Adventures to Awesome, are taking these girls on adventures to discover their INNER AWESOME™ — they are building their very own superpower shield against bullying and the toughest life has to throw at them. JNP is working.
Here are some examples of what the girls get out of reading JNP books, doing JNP activities, and discussing JNP’s mission and what it means to each of them, individually.
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Note: This Blog is a chronological diary of a start-up-company—The JNP Project’s Journey—reading it from the start, will broaden your understanding of the path we are on, together, and hopefully, positively influence you in some way!
FYI Tip: For information on research and statistics, go to: http://adventurestoawesome.org/kids-bullying-statistics/
Read the other two posts in this series: