Giving Makes a Difference
Giving can make a big difference in expanding learning opportunities for students in Shorewood Schools. The Shorewood SEED (Supporters of Excellence in Education Development) Foundation has helped raise over $200,000 annually to help fund projects, grants, and other various monetary needs of the Shorewood School District since 2003.
Bullying Prevention Unit
During the 2013-2014 school year, SEED fully funded a $2,449 grant request from elementary school counselors Julia Nash (Atwater) and Meghan Markham (Lake Bluff) to purchase a Bullying Prevention Unit, which was implemented into the curriculum in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Julia and Meghan discuss the importance of informing and empowering students in the face of conflict.
1.) What exactly is the Bullying Prevention unit?
The Bullying Prevention Unit is a 5K-5th grade curriculum designed by The Committee for Children. The bullying units are broken into four different lessons (with the opportunity for booster lessons to continue the discussions). The four lessons are focused on: recognizing bullying, reporting bullying, refusing bullying, and bystander power. Each grade level has its own video series with realistic examples of what bullying can look like, how to refuse bullying, and how to make it stop.
As school counselors, we were also inspired to make positive changes in our students’ lives. We want our students to be able to conquer any social or emotional dilemma that may occur. We want ALL students to feel empowered that their voice and their actions can help their peers. If they don't feel comfortable about how another student is being treated, they can report the bullying or step in and help stop it.
2.) What inspired you to write the SEED grant?
We saw bullying prevention as an area that was still confusing to students. Many students did not understand that conflict and bullying were different things and handled in different ways. The Bullying Prevention curriculum clarifies that in a way that is easy for students to understand, even K5 students! It also empowers the bystanders to do SOMETHING. The curriculum shows that by ignoring the situation, laughing, or joining in makes the situation worse and gives examples of what bystanders can do instead to support the one hurt.
3.) How was this unit incorporated into the regular curriculum?
This curriculum is designed to be taught in addition to our social/emotional lessons that we focus on throughout the school year in guidance classes.
4.) How has Bullying Prevention expanded students' learning experiences?
Students really enjoyed these lessons! They were able to make connections to the videos, it generated great class discussions, and it empowered our students to empathize with others at all times, but especially those times of challenging situations.
5.) Were you optimistic that the grant proposal was going to be chosen for fulfillment?
We certainly hoped that we would receive the funding for it since the number of students impacted by this curriculum would be all students at both elementary schools.
6.) Why do you think philanthropy is important for Shorewood Schools?
Philanthropy is important for any school and student because it provides an experience where you feel a real purpose in helping others. Students learn empathy and compassion by participating, build a greater sense of community, and collaborate to achieve a common goal.
Wednesday May, 27, 2015
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