“When writing the constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, John Adams wrote:
I must judge for myself, but how can I judge, how can any man judge, unless his mind has been opened and enlarged by reading.”
― John Adams
And the story begins........... Earlier this year, while reading The Outsiders,students constructed bullying websites, as an authentic tool, which expressed their own personal insights and messages on bullying in our schools. One group, the Bullying Upstanders, took it to another level. Throughout the year, they have continued to meet outside of class, update their website, and initiate their ideas and solutions to bullying.
Two weeks ago, they approached me with yet another idea. "We'd like to create our own school-wide campaign for Autism Awareness this month," exclaimed Samantha Zechiel. Olyvia and Katy chimed in, "We've already had two meetings, purchased our supplies, and have two grants to pay for our supplies!" I had to pick my chin up from the floor. Through collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking, this group of seventh graders created a week long school-wide campaign, through funding received from the 4-H Junior Leaders as well as other donations from the community, sold Autism Awareness items during lunch and before school, and created a "Wear Blue" day on Friday to heighten awareness during a school-wide assembly.
On Friday, April 25, the Bullying Upstanders handed out blue Autism Awareness stickers to each student as they entered the gym for the school-wide assembly and painted their own faces blue in support of their campaign. Additionally, each student spoke at the assembly on behalf of Autism Awareness. By the end of the campaign on Friday, the group had raised their goal of $100.00 and will be donating their proceeds to the Autism Resources of Marshall County. Samantha was quoted in the local newspaper as stating,......
"It's not the money we raise that matters, it's about bringing awareness throughout the school about accepting differences. We are trying to impact the school's awareness of autism and differences in general."
Students are discovering their own passions, taking great pride in their work, and gaining self-confidence, experience, and life skills that will last a life-time.
The Bullying Upstander's members include: Yahaira Vargas, Samantha Zechiel, Olyvia Clark, Luke Walters, Katy Smith, and Raquel Teutle.
Share your "Amazing Kid's" stories. How have they impacted their community?