Bullying remains the most prevalent form of violence in our society today. According to government statistics [www.stopbullying.gov], almost 30 percent of students in grades 6-12 experience bullying in one form or another, including cyberbullying. Equally alarming, about the same number of kids admit to doing the bullying themselves.
Drama Kids, has always felt a responsibility to do our part to help kids build the confidence they need to stand up for themselves and for others. We know that confidence is a skill that kids can develop and strengthen through practice and reinforcement. Through our drama programs, we’ve seen how our students stretch their comfort zones and learn how to step forward, speak up and express their ideas, and respect others. But we believe we can do more.
Drama Kids is proud to roll out our newest initiative – ACT UP! to Stop Bullying. This series of anti-bullying workshops is designed for 3rd through 5th graders and utilizes a variety of student participatory drama activities and group discussions to teach children about the various forms of bullying and the ways in which students can properly respond.
Specifically, the workshops are designed to help students:
- Understand the many and different forms of bullying, from physical and verbal attacks to more subtle forms like purposefully excluding someone from a group
- See the different roles they can play when bullying occurs, from silent participant to observer to preventer
- Reinforce that their negative feelings about bullying are very common and shared with their peers
- Learn how to model good behavior
- Role play to learn how to identify bullying and practice safe and effective interventions
According to the Education Development Center, empathy activities like role playing are among some of the most critical social skills we can teach our kids. “Children are less likely to hurt and more likely to help someone if they can imagine themselves in that person’s place and can share that person’s thoughts and feelings.”[i]
Using our developmental drama approach, we are proud to do our part in helping kids gain the confidence and skills they need to not just prevent but stand up to bullying. The workshops are available as a stand-alone program or as an add-on option to our traditional drama programs. We also look forward to introducing the workshops as a week-long camp program next summer.
For more information, contact us at 866-809-1055, or firstname.lastname@example.org.