NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
January 28, 2011 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Walnut Valley Students Focus on Keeping Kindness First
Walnut, CA – Walnut Valley Schools participated in the national “No-Name Calling” campaign this week. Over 40 partner organizations launched the program to focus attention on the problem of name-calling in schools.
Every day, during the week of January 24-28, our schools presented activities that focused on eliminating name-calling. Here are just a few examples:
Walnut Elementary hosted No-Name calling classroom lessons, Pay it Forward activity, students signed a No-Name Calling/Safe School Bill of Rights, and classroom door decorating contest. On Monday, January 31, students will learn valuable lessons about preventing bullying during a special Bully Game assembly. The school will also host a Bully Prevention parenting seminar at 6:30 p.m.
Diamond Bar High hosted a Pass it On event, with USB Leadership students receiving 5”X7” cards with anti-bullying slogans. Throughout the day, the cards were passed on to other students. The goal was to have as many students as possible receive a subtle message that bullying is wrong and should not be tolerated.
At Westhoff Elementary, a full week of activities including defining what No Name Calling means, signing pledges, wearing red, white, and blue in support of the campaign, and special lesson plans, explained 5th grade teacher Kellie Muragishi.
Each class also displayed 3 foot-wide pink and red hearts that students decorated with “how kind words can mend hurting hearts” in the school multi-purpose room. Mrs. Kimberley Dalton, Mrs. Becki King and Mrs. Denise Ahern were instrumental in the planning and coordinating of each of the events this week.
Today, for the culminating activity, about 30 Suzanne Middle School Leadership and PALS (Peer Assisted Leaders) students led a summit of cross-age activities with all 650 Westhoff students.
The student leaders directed small groups of elementary students in team building games on the lower field. Groups also rotated to the multi-purpose room for a variety of activities. And kindergarteners met with the PALS mentors in their classrooms.
Students made bookmarks with anti-bully messages.
“I don’t like bullying, I say nice words!” said fifth grader Amanda Taing.
“I had so much fun today” said PALS member Alice Fan. “They (elementary students) were really into the message and got a lot out of it.”
Then the groups watched a clip from the movie Robots, showing a robot that needed to be fixed. Student leaders stressed to the young audience that they shouldn’t have to change in order to fit in.
“Stay true to yourself and you’ll be happy,” said eighth grade PALS member, Rudy Arevelo. “Don’t change for anyone” he said.
Next the small groups had a short discussion and each student chose a robot part to write something they like about themselves that could also be used to help others. Then they colored and assembled the group projects.
“This activity showed that everyone has something special to offer, and together they can have more of an impact,” said PALS advisor Marla Rickard.
“If someone told them to change, they would walk away and find new friends,” Frances Lai, an 8th grade Leadership member said about her group of first graders.
“I hope to have this summit every year,” said third grader Alexis Andino.
We were really focusing on the Golden Rule today, to treat others as you would be treated, Rickard said.
“We learned a lot today…. I hope everyone knows that bullying is not right,” said nine year-old Jacqueline Djunaedy.
The summit ended with a chant led by the middle school students, “Respect -You have to give it to get it. Yes, that’s the key. We’re going to live by the Golden Rule. You’ll see, at Westhoff Elementary!”
“This day was especially important for our 5th grade students because they are anxious about going to Middle School next year. Listening to the 7th and 8th graders today makes them feel more confident about their next school,” said Principal Denise Rendon.
“And when kids hear that bullying is not OK from their peers it has a profound effect,”
More information about the organization of this national week can be found at www.nonamecalling.org
1. Suzanne Middle School Leadership member Catrina Gonzalez, age 14 helped Westhoff students make bookmarks during a summit activity.
2. Amanda Taing showed off her special personalized bookmark.
3. A group of Westhoff boys got creative and designed a two-headed robot during their activity.
4. Suzanne Leadership student Patricia Wong helped Westhoff 3rd graders decorate their robot parts and then the multi-age group celebrated finishing it!