NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
January 25, 2012 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Suzanne Middle Schools Hosts Friendship Summit
WALNUT, CA--Suzanne Middle School hosted the 1st Annual Friendship Summit on January 19.
The purpose of the summit was to help sixth grade students practice making and keeping friends. The entire sixth grade class participated in activities including making a Kindness Chain Reaction, Spider Web, Simon Says, and a star activity after viewing “The Sneetches” video.
The lessons focused on the following ideas: don’t try to change for others – be yourself, get to know someone before you make judgments about them, you have to be a friend in order to make one, and everybody is a star.
Teacher Marla Rickard and 6th Grade Counselor GeorgeAnn Cusson led the activities along with PALs (Peer Assisted Leaders) and sixth grade teachers.
“It was so exciting to look around and see kids helping kids. The summit gave them the opportunity to meet someone new, listen to those around them, and to enjoy being with each other in a world where people are often competing for recognition. These kids were given the chance to celebrate the unique qualities they have,” said PALs advisor Marla Rickard.
6th grader Brock Cooper said his favorite part of the event was “the field activities, especially the Gotcha game because it was active and fun.”
“I learned we should make friends with people and not let them down,” he said.
“I liked the Giants, Wizards, and Elves game because when you have nothing to do you can get some friends together and play that game. I also liked Spider Web because people said what they would like in a friend and it taught me how to be a better friend,” said 6th grader Kelly Chen.
“The sixth graders are still trying to figure out who they are and how they fit in. They are still growing as people and have a lot of potential. I learned how we can influence other people by just doing one action,” said Paulo Monong, an 8th grade PAL member.
“It was a very positive day and our students had a great time while learning about friendship,” Cusson said.
The Friendship Summit provided an introduction to No Name-Calling Week held January 23-27.
Thousands of schools across the nation are participating in this annual event aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds.
All Walnut Valley Schools are hosting educational activities to celebrate the message of the program including wearing No Name-Calling ribbons and buttons, participating in classroom lessons and discussions, door decorating contests, and signing No Name-Calling Bill of Rights.
Collegewood Elementary will focus on encouraging students to say nice things to each other. By the week’s end, each student will have a personalized paper filled with compliments from students and their teachers.
During the Spider Web game, students shared what they think makes a good friend.
Students participated in small group activities led by the PALs.
PALs, Alyssa Ibarra and Paulo Monong, led a classroom group discussion based on “The Sneetches” by Dr. Suess.