Why the Red Ribbons? LPS Guiding Kids to ‘Just Say No’
Monday, October 15, 2012 • 12:59pm
Bullying, school violence, Just Say No … Special events this month in Livingston’s schools all are focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of our students.
This week, Livingston schools are participating in School Violence Awareness Week. Next week, schools will observe Red Ribbon Week, the most visible time of year for substance abuse prevention efforts. These special events follow a Week of Respect that began the month’s anti-bullying efforts.
At Hillside, for instance, the week ended with a Respect March around the school with every member of the school encouraged to wear yellow as a symbol of the "golden rule.” Special assemblies emphasized “The Power of One.”
“I am so impressed and honored to be part of a school district that values the importance of engaging in a healthy lifestyle." said Tina M. Renga, Director of Guidance, Livingston Public Schools.
"What impresses me even more is that the comprehensive and developmental programs, lessons and activities in the month of October begin at the kindergarten level and extend through grade 12 -- sending a united, school-wide message" Renga said. "This month serves as a vehicle for communities and individuals to take a stand against violence, committing to be drug free, and educating themselves and each other about respect.”
Elementary schools have lessons plans filled with special reading and writing assignments, and creative programs designed to inform students about the hazards of violence and substance abuse.
At Collins, students and teachers will drive home the idea by creating a car with a license plate It starts with one … It starts with me. Students will plaster the car with bumper stickers with anti-drug and alcohol messages. Burnet Hill has activities focusing around themes “Burnet Hill Loves Heroes,” “Be the One” and “Open the Door to a Bully-Free School.” Harrison decorated hallways with recipes for respect. Hillside will have a counting activity, "How many times to say NO to DRUGS!"
Mt. Pleasant Elementary is kicking off an initiative titled, “More Positive Examples!” There will be a “Walkathon for Respect” to raise money for a local charity and “Stuff the Bus” with canned foods to be donated to a local food bank.
Riker Hill will share Project Wisdom messages and invited a special speaker on tolerance. Schools will also be participating in “Mix It Up” day, which is a national activity that celebrates diversity and encourages children to make new friendships. There will also be special performances by the Sadecky’s Puppets.
Mt. Pleasant Middle is reinforcing the themes “The Power of One,” “Keep it Real,” and “Don’t be a Statistic.” Cameo Cast will present a program on making healthy choices.
Already, Heritage’s main hallway is decorated with handprints and student pledges, "HMS Is Joining Hands To Show Respect.”
Livingston High School’s School Safety Team has developed a variety of programs. Life-size silhouettes designed by the stage craft students will be displayed in the front of the school along with a banner that reads “LHS Doesn’t Just Stand By … We Stand Together.”
On October 23, filmmaker Cynthia Lowen will present a forum on the documentary “Bully” at LHS. That event is being presented at 7:30 p.m. by the Livingston Municipal Alliance Committee and is open to the public.