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LIKE US

Posted: 4/18/2019

The non profit FSA Performing Arts Program at The Ethical Community Charter School in Jersey City, NJ (TECCS) has a mission to provide performing arts related experiences and opportunities to all interested students after school no matter their family economics. A project of important note is the development of a live action short film titled LIKE US. It is a film for kids, by kids. The screenplay was written by ten students in grades 6-8 over a period of 10 weeks. During some very honest and courageous writing sessions students shared painful truths about bullying that have become very important to the story. During the writing sessions one student shared he was bullied so badly he left his previous school for a fresh start at TECCS. LIKE US, can be seen this September and shows how a group of five students overcome the intimidation and intolerable cruelty by some of their peers. The director is Professional Educator and Television host Kris Van Nest, also Executive Producer of the online media network THISLEARNING®. Assistant Director, Ann E. Wallace, is a published poet and Associate Professor of English at New Jersey City University. The project was produced by Middle schoolers and a growing group of volunteer parents lead by Kim Correro.

Like Us Film Synopsis

The Shooting Star Youth Challenge is coming to town, and Cory, Fatin, Lana, Astrid, and Trevor have each been unable to find a team. In a chance meeting in the school office, the Principal asks the group of outcasts—rejected for their gender identity, disability, and personalities—to band together for the competition. Some of the students are not too happy to be forced onto a team of kids that no one else wants, and, believing the terrible things that other kids say about them, they are sure they will lose. They soon learn, however, that each one has a special talent and that the C Flats, as they have decided to call themselves, are a real contender. But as the big day approaches, the team members are shaken by comments made online and in person about them. Together they rebuild their confidence and are ready to compete. However, they soon learn that Lana has been facing a much larger challenge than shooting a basket or nailing a standup comedy routine, when, in a moment of desperation, she confides that she is homeless. Faced with a difficult dilemma, the team must decide where to put its efforts, on making it to States or on helping their friend against her wishes. When the group steps up to help their new friend, serendipitously aided by a group of stagehands who spread the news about Lana online, we see that what makes these kids winners are not the skills they bring to Shooting Star but the size of their hearts.

Read the article in March’s Macaroni Kid magazine, Film Program Teaches Kids More Than Just Film Making
Instagram: @fsaperformingarts
Facebook: @fsaperformngarts
#LIKEUSMovie

By: KC

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Meet Gabe and Jade | PACERTalks About Bullying: Season 2, Episode 9

Posted: 11/26/2018

Jade and Gabe, two cousins from Minnesota, were personally impacted by bullying, and wanted to do something that would help prevent bullying for all students. In 2012, with the help from their family and community, they turned their passion into an annual fundraising event called “Spook City in the Woods,” which is designed to show that if you think the trail is scary, think how it feels to be bullied. Watch this episode to learn more about this amazing event, special thanks to Gabe and Jade for the incredible impact they have made!

By: PACER`

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Musical Group, Dat Stern, Creates Music to Inspire

Posted: 11/9/2018

Twin brothers, Stacy and Sterling, decided to start a music group called Dat Stern; they wanted to make music that could inspire people and help others. Stacy states, “My brother and I suffered from bullying all throughout middle and high school. So, when we decided to make music, that was our main focus. Our goal is to put an end to bullying.”

Stacy remembers a bullying situation in 6th grade when a note he had written was passed around to all the classmates. “They all laughed and made fun of me. I felt so humiliated, but it didn’t end there. I was picked on and bullied for the rest of the school year in that class.” Both brothers experienced bullying that affected them into adulthood, being called names such as ugly, loser, and alien. Neither could understand why people were so cruel. Stacy says, “We suffered a lot from bullying through the years, and words are not enough to describe how bad it made us feel. No one deserves to be bullied. I repeat, NO ONE.”

As they got older, Stacy and Sterling decided that using their music and writing songs to send a message about bullying could inspire and help people. Together they have written two songs about bullying “Help Me,” and “Take a Stand,” in order to help raise awareness and end bullying. The brothers believe, “We have to take a stand and do something about it. It takes action. Many people witness bullying, and they just sit there and watch. They do nothing to help the kid that is being bullied. THIS HAS TO STOP. If you see someone being bullied, stand up for them, and help them. Standing there and doing nothing doesn’t help the situation at all.”

Stacy is thankful that his parents were there to listen and help him. The twins want people to know that asking for help is ok. “Don’t be afraid to let others know about the bullying issue. We are willing to stand with you and stop the bullying. Just reach out for help!”

Dat Stern -"Take A Stand"

Discussion questions
Help Me Lyrics

By: PACER

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Sharing Kindness: Gift from 100 Women Who Care Conejo Valley spreads bullying prevention message in California

Posted: 7/24/2018

The idea of 100 Women Who Care is simple: 100 women unite and use their combined resources to uplift charities in their community and across the nation. Four times a year, the group meets and members nominate, discuss, and vote on charities to support. On April 24th, 100 Women Who Care Conejo Valley chose PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, Los Angeles, to receive the largest donation they have ever given. Through the gifts of their membership, they gave $6,350 to preserve and strengthen PACER’S bullying prevention efforts in this area northwest of Los Angeles County. On July 25th, a representative from PACER’s NBPC attended their meeting to share with the group how their donation was used. Activities, outreach to local schools, resources, and more are planned in the Conejo Valley region to help create healthier school communities where kindness – not bullying – will flourish.

By: PACER

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Riders Against Bullying

Posted: 6/15/2018

What happens when one person cares? They can change someone’s life.

John Carter, a self-described “biker against bullying” has been encouraging students to sign the pledge to be together against bullying—and united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. He also shows what a difference it makes when adults get involved in positive ways. John shared this story about the photo, “the young man in the red shorts and black shirt has autism. I saw the other kids bullying him, so I went out and spoke with all of them. I explained about autism and talked about the differences we all have. I asked how they felt when they get picked on. I then explained to them that each of us has feelings and how much it hurts to not be included. I told them everyone wants to be accepted and to have someone to play with. The group ended up playing together all night.”

By: Anonymous

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Personal experience inspires music video

Posted: 6/14/2018

"Imma Listen" is a music video created by Taylor Zank. The inspiration to create the project came from his personal experience. The video briefly portrays the life of Simmie, a student dealing with a rough emotional situation, both at home and at school. After being bullied by other kids, the student tries to talk to his father about the difficulty he is experiencing, but his father isn't willing to hear about it and brushes him off. The following day, a teacher notices Simmie in the hallway looking obviously distraught and takes the time to pull him aside and figure out what’s going on. After having a chance to express what he was going through to an adult figure and talk it out with the teacher, Simmie returns to school with a newfound confidence, and uses what he learned from the situation to help another student who is dealing with a similar experience. The video is meant to compel adults and students alike to reach out to those that we notice are clearly dealing with something, even if we don't know them, and let them know that we are there for them and that they are not alone.

Discussion questions accompany this video.

By: Anonymous

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Genius Hour

Posted: 4/4/2018

During her senior year of high school, Addison participated in a project called Genius Hour. The idea was for each student to select a topic of their choice, research it, and then develop a presentation, video, or product. Addison chose the topic of bullying, an issue that has personally affected her since elementary school. Addison made posters that displayed facts and statistics about bullying. She posted these resources in her classroom hoping to draw awareness to this common issue. Throughout the semester, she continued to research the effects of bullying, ultimately showing just how much it impacts students around the world. At the end of the semester, she presented her speech in which she spoke from the heart.

Addison shared, “I genuinely hope that I changed the way my classmates view bullying and how to treat people, as well as for anyone who views this video. I really enjoyed this project and I aim to continue to raise awareness for bullying and for all the targets that suffer from it. They deserve to be heard and supported, and I am determined to be one person who stands up for them. I hope people learn to realize that we should accept one another for who they are, because that is another thing that I realized when doing this project— everyone is different, yet everyone should be respected. It only takes one person to make a difference.”

By: Anonymous

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Kindness Makes Miracles

Posted: 3/26/2018

Kindness Makes Miracles was established to promote kindness as a way of life. It was started after the tragic death of Kelly O'Loughlin. Our goal, from the very inception of Kindness Makes Miracles, was to do whatever we can to help others be aware of the devastating and deadly effects of bullying and the incredible healing power of kindness. By living lives of kindness, we enable others and ourselves to reach the fullest potential. Kindness Makes Miracles is a program of the Knights of Columbus Council #844 located in Helena, Montana. Watch our video on Kelly’s life. Get involved! Visit our website. #takeastandagainstbullying #kindnessmakesmiracles

By: Christopher Nelson and Kindness Makes Miracles

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Speaking Without Words

Posted: 3/1/2018

Video Credits

Andrew Carroll, Associate Professor of Dance, University of South Florida
Lana Heylock, Assistant Professor of Dance, Jacksonville University

Classroom Discussion Questions

These questions are in direct collaboration to Andrew Carroll’s cyberbullying video that supports a worldwide bullying prevention campaign. The discussion questions are designed for a teenage audience. They may be used as additional prompts that accompany the “Speaking Without Words: Be a Peer Advocate. Help Those Being Bullied. We All Have Unique Gifts. End/Delete Cyberbullying” video.

  1. Why do you think that the other dancers bully the girl with one arm?
    Answers may be that she is “different” or that “she looks different.” This is a good place to discuss that we are all different. Our physical appearances are unique, we often have varied interests, come from different types of families, and meet people of different ethnic and social backgrounds every day. The girl with one arm must have incredible strength, focus, and courage to succeed at the same skills that most people are fortunate to do with two arms. She is different and she is amazing! She needs to be supported, encouraged, and applauded. It is “cool” to be there for her and help her if she needs the assistance. It makes you a stronger person!

  2. Why do you think it is important to talk about disabilities?
    Discussion gives us knowledge. Communication is so important. If we do not understand something, it is more difficult to have empathy and show support. When we understand the situation of a person with a disability, we can walk in their shoes and understand that all people have the right to pursue their dreams, find happiness, and acceptance.

  3. Do you think that people with physical disabilities can achieve success in sports and dance?
    YES! There are many awesome athletes and dancers who have overcome their physical disabilities to be successful professionals. Here are a few:

    • Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Abbott was born without a right hand. He won the gold medal in the 1988 Summer Olympics.
    • Mixed Martial Arts Athlete Kyle Maynard was the first quadruple amputee to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without the aid of prosthetics in 2012.
    • Surfer Bethany Hamilton’s left arm was bitten off by a shark in 2003. She went on to earn first place at the National Scholastic Surfing Association Competition two years later.
    • AXIS Dance Company, REVolutions Dance, and Dancing Wheels are examples of professional dance companies that employ dancers in wheelchairs and on crutches.
  4. What was one significant event in the video?
    It took only one girl to be a peer advocate and change the bullying environment. All the characters learned mutual respect and acceptance by the end. In fact, we saw the girl with a disability reach out and catch her stumbling new friend. It makes us realize that kindness and friendship do not require two arms and legs. We all have the same needs and wants. We need to care for one another and appreciate the many unique physical conditions in the world.

By: Andrew Carroll, Lana Heylock

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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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