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Young Student Leads a Movement!

Posted: 11/9/2017

Thirteen-year-old Mai Mishan is committed to creating a world without bullying! In her third year of promoting National Bullying Prevention Month in October, Mai organized two significant events for 2017.

On Saturday, October 21, Mai held a Charity Ride at Soul Cycle in Calabasas, Calif., to raise funds for PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. The studio was vibrant in orange, the signature color of bullying prevention, with orange balloons and graphics and all participants received the official orange “Create a World Without Bullying” shirt. Mai's mother, Michal also promoted the event with online Facebook fundraising; the donations received far exceeded the projected goal.

Mai followed up the fundraiser on Unity Day, October 25, by leading a school-wide coordination of Unity Day events involving every student and teacher at her school of 1200+ students. To promote participation, Mai wrote personal notes to key faculty, sharing why the day is so important. She handed out posters and flyers to display all over the campus. School administration supported Mai’s efforts by sending out a mailer to parents, encouraging their involvement. On the day of the event, EVERYONE on the four campuses wore orange! The principal, Mai and other students spoke at an assembly as well. Students also showed their support by creating links of positive statements on orange paper about how they would unite for kindness, acceptance and inclusion, creating an orange chain around the campus.

As a result of Mai’s influential leadership, Unity Day is now an annual official date on the school calendar. “We so appreciated Mai’s initiative and positive energy in making this happen,” wrote a school administrator.

By: PACER Center Staff

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Cyberbullying Dance

Posted: 10/10/2017

We are more alike than we think

A cyberbullying awareness video illustrating the necessity to end and delete cyberbullying message because “we are all more alike than we think.” The video was produced with the generous permission of incredible musical artist James Paget for use of “The Hero Within.” The short video highlights the story of an athlete who initially cyberbullies a ballet dancer not realizing they are similar athletes, just with different skill sets. This becomes apparent, and the athlete chooses to end and delete the cyberbullying.

Video and discussion questions by Andrew Carroll, The University of South Florida and Lana Heylock, Jacksonville University

Classroom Discussion Questions

  1. What similarities did you notice between the dancer and the athlete?
  2. Describe how athletes and dancers each practice to become good at what they do.
  3. Describe the traditional “uniform” of the dancer and of the basketball player.
  4. Why do you think each sport has its own style of attire?
  5. Do you think that dancers are athletes? Why or why not?
  6. How can you be a better advocate to stop cyber bullying?

Helpful tips, ideas, and conversation starters to foster greater dialogue during classroom discussion

  1. What similarities did you notice between the dancer and the athlete?
    • Has anyone here ever danced? What about played a sport? Can you both tell me about the skills you need to perform?
    • Are you surprised to find out that there are many similarities between the two?
      Similarities include hard work, focus, lots of skills to practice, physical activity, and valuable teamwork. Teamwork examples include: A ballet has a corps de ballet which must work perfectly in unison so that the audience can understand the story, a dance duet must work harmoniously or someone will fall or be dropped, dancers must negotiate the stage so they do not bump into each other. Similarly, a basketball team must know their play and pass the ball correctly, a basketball player must be alert to see how to execute the basket, and basketball players must find their paths on the court between many other bodies in their way. They both consider awesome skills and the use of energy, timing, and space.
  2. Describe how athletes and dancers each practice to become good at what they do.
    • Can an athlete and dancer in the class tell me what they do to warm up and practice?
      They practice A LOT!!! If they do not practice they will not be very good. They have skills that most people do not have naturally. Most athletes practice during a specific season, whereas, a dancer practices all year long. Both professions have rather short terms…professional athletes and professional dancers are usually fairly young…(in their 20’s and 30’s).
  3. Describe the traditional “uniform” of the dancer and of the basketball player.
    • Think about sports and activities you play. What do you wear for that?
    • What about for other sports: football, cycling, swimming, wrestling, baseball, etc?
      There are typical uniforms for dancers and basketball players. Dancers wear specific shoes, such as pointe dance shoes, soft dance shoes, and tap shoes. Basketball athletes wear sneakers. Dancers wear tight clothing, and football players, gymnasts, wrestlers, cyclists, and swimmers wear tight clothing, too. Basketball players wear loose fitted clothing and jerseys.
  4. Why do you think each sport has its own style of attire?
    • Have several students in the class identify a sport/activity they are involved with and explain what they wear and why they wear it.
      Each sport has its own style of attire to help athletes accomplish their skills and goals. Dancers use specific shoes that include pointe shoes for women to appear longer and have the ability to turn effortlessly, soft shoes help spin and feel the ground, tap shoes accentuate rhythms and jazz shoes cushion landings and help with sliding. Basketball athletes need sneakers to help them move swiftly across the court. Their shoes provide important support and cushioning when running and landing from dunking the basket. Dancers wear tight clothing in rehearsal in order to see correct alignment and form. Likewise, football players and gymnasts wear tight clothing so they can move effectively. It would be dangerous to wear baggy clothes that they could trip on or get tangled in. Professional swimmers wear tight Speedos to help them move fast. Basketball players wear loose fitted clothing made of wicking material so they can move freely and have faster drying and cooling in their jerseys. Dancers and athletes have figured out what clothing helps them be the best they can be at what they do.
  5. Do you think that dancers are athletes? Why or why not?
    • Do you think you can do the spins and jumps like you saw the dancer do in the video?
    • What would you need to do in order to do the dance moves?
      Dancers are elite athletes with many skills that involve endurance, coordination, stretch, and strength. Some athletes, execute their plays on the court with the grace, strength, and agility of a dancer. Oftentimes dancers and athletes cross-train. Many dancers work out in the gym with weights and machines and many athletes have been known to take yoga and dance lessons to help their bodies increase coordination and stretch.

      Dancers and athletes are more alike than we previously may have thought. Firstly, they are human with the same feelings and often the same pursuit of excellence. Dancers and athletes should be admired equally. They show us incredible physical feats and help us strive toward setting personal goals of excellence. The world appreciates the storytelling and beauty of dance and the fierce competiveness and spirit of athletics. Our communities are enriched by arts and sports!
  6. How can you be a better advocate to stop cyber bullying?
    • If you’re being cyberbullied, what are things you can do to stop the cyberbullying? What about things that would make the cyberbullying worse?
    • If you see cyberbullying, what are things you can do to help? What would be unhelpful?

Knowledge is power! Stop wrong information, speak up, and support what you know is important in our schools, cities, and country. Be strong, be smart and always be kind.

If you’re being cyberbullied, here are steps you can take to help end it:

If you’re being cyberbullied, doing these things can make the situation worse:

If you see cyberbullying, here are steps you can take to help end it:

If you see cyberbullying, doing these things can make the situation worse:

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