Middle school introduces anti-bullying bookEvery Hudson Middle School student will be involved with a new book and exercises aimed at reducing bullying in the school.
By: Doug Stohlberg, Hudson Star-Observer
Received grant from Education Foundation of Hudson
Every Hudson Middle School student will be involved with a new book and exercises aimed at reducing bullying in the school.
The book, written by Doug Wilhelm, is titled “The Revealers” and has earned national acclaim as a tool to help fight bullying in schools around the country. The book is part of an initiative “One School-One Book” which addresses both bullying and literacy.
Literacy Coach Kristin Conrad, School Counselor Angela Goebel and ESL Teacher Kari Halstead heard of the program and wrote a grant to the Education Foundation of Hudson. They were awarded a grant earlier this winter of just under $5,000, which covers the cost of materials and a copy of the book for all of the 1,241 students in the building and their teachers.
The program calls for daily participation by all students and staff at some point during the days and weeks ahead. Included are reading sessions, reading aloud, anti-bullying pledge, book-related activities, discussions, various contests, videos, plays, inter-school blogs and much more. Members of many local groups and organization have volunteered to assist with some of the reading activities.
The program, which began last week, will end on March 4 with a culminating event, but one of the highlights of the program comes on Feb. 23 when KARE 11 television plans to document some of the activities. Readers that day will be members of the Hudson School District administrative offices.
“We were surprised a while back when we surveyed students and virtually all reported that they had been subject to some bullying,” said Conrad. “This has been an effective program in other places. The teachers at the school have been very positive about this effort.”
Halstead said she believes the program will help cut down on the bullying – at the very least, it will stop it from getting worse in Hudson.
If a student sees bullying going on, they are encouraged to tell the people who can help.
“Sometimes kids don’t want to be a ‘tattle tale,’ so we want them to know that if they talk to a teacher it is done in a confidential manner,” Konrad said.
Both said they have already seen immediate results before students began reading the book.
“Many are excited about addressing this topic,” Halstead said. “Some want to read ahead.”
The program is a onetime initiative affecting all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, but the grant writers hope that parts of the program can be included each year – especially for incoming sixth-graders.
Each student can keep the books they receive and many were excited to receive a free book.
“We live in a prosperous community,” Konrad said. “But there are still a lot of kids who have never had a book of their own.”