Thursday, October 6, 2016

National Bully Prevention Month

Think about what your and/or your library can do to stop bullying, to provide a safe sanctuary, and to share stories. Do you have a book list for readers - maybe one on bullies but maybe also one about friendship? Do you have programs around kindness? Are you connecting with the schools?  Can you come up with a community project?  Or do something smaller. Hand out a snack one day to all the teens and tweens in the library. Just because. Just to say hello. If it's too late for this year to scramble together a program, write a note in your calendar to plan something for next year. 
These middle grade authors are teaming up and taking a stand.

Kirby Larson - AUDACITY JONES TO THE RESCUE (Scholastic, Jan)
Augusta Scattergood - MAKING FRIENDS WITH BILLY WONG (Scholastic, Aug)
Barbara O'Connor - WISH (FSG, Aug)
Susan Hill Long - THE MAGIC MIRROR (Knopf, May)

The authors really want to expand the conversation about friendship and writing and reading with a #TrueFriends hashtag. Each author has created a short video talking about her book and the #TrueFriends storyline within it and each closes her video by offering a writing prompt about friendship. We've created a #TrueFriends YouTube channel to host the videos.

They also created a #TrueFriends downloadable kit that features a conversation between these four friends and also a "Friend Catcher" for kids to make.

And if you don't have the books in your library, you're in luck. There's a #TrueFriends giveaway where 15 lucky librarians and teachers will win a set of all four books, and 4 lucky grand prize winners will receive the books and an opportunity to host one of the four authors for a Skype visit with their class, library, or school. Enter before November 30, 2016.

If you want to get involved and do something before then, here are some ideas taken straight from Stomp Out Bullying 

Every October, schools and organizations across the country join STOMP Out Bullying™ in observing National Bullying Prevention Month. The goal: encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages.


The Week of October 10th: Make friends with someone you don’t know at school (or anywhere)

If you've ever been isolated from others at school or you were new at school and it took time to make friends, you know what it feels like to be left out. Or even if you were never isolated, imagine how it would feel.

Make friends with someone at school who you don't know. Invite them to sit at your lunch table or join you in an after school activity. You probably wish someone had done that for you.
Be a leader. Take action and don't let anyone at school be in isolation.
Challenge Others To Be Kind: Pay it Forward

Make kindness go viral with an act of kindness and challenge friends and classmates to pay it forward with their acts of kindness. Make a video of everyone doing acts of kindness and submit it. We'll add it tou our website.

The Week of October 17th: STAND UP for Others Week

When you see someone being bullied, be brave and STAND UP for them. Bullies have been known to back off when others stand up for victims.
If you don't feel safe get the help of an adult immediately. Be part of the solution -- not the problem!

The Week of October 24th: Students can participate by

  • Creating positive messages on post-its and handing them out to students at school
  • Hold a "kindness" dance at school
  • Creating anti-bullying videos and sharing them on the STOMP Out Bullying site
  • Sharing inspirational stories on the STOMP Out Bullying site
  • Create a kindness dance flash mob at school or in your community. Make a video of it and send it to us. We'll share it on our web site.

The more awareness that is created during the month of October -- and all year round, you are one step closer to putting an end to bullying!
What have you done that's worked well for your library? Or have you been able to help certain students on an individual level? I want the students in the town to know that the library is a safe place, where they can hang out, where they can have fun. I strive to create that  environment. And I love it when authors create a movement that helps out.  I hope to spread a little more kindness this month. 

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