Champions for Change
"Enabling our kids to make positive choices"
As a parent/community group focused on bullying prevention in our schools, we want to increase awareness and educate not only our children and school staff, but ourselves and the community as a whole. We wish to do this in a positive, constructive manner. We want to raise awareness on the issues of bullying. We want to have the resources available for our children and our community. We wish to increase the number of assemblies in our schools that address bullying, events for community members to attend, as well as education for school staff and those working directly with our children.
It is our goal to hold monthly meetings where we can discuss any issues and concerns in a safe, open environment. We want to encourage parents, grandparents and community members to become actively involved in school functions, field trips, as well as volunteering in the class rooms and during lunch hour.
We want to know that if our children are caught in a bullying situation that they will know what to do and where to go for help. Most importantly, we want to know that our children feel safe while at school.
In the fall of 2011, a group of concerned parents met at the Grant Middle School to address the problem and issues of bullying in our schools. After the initial meeting with some of the school staff it was decided that we would meet on a regular basis with Mr. Jones, Mr. Aikens, and Theresa Fetterley along with any parents or community members that wanted to attend.
At our meetings we discuss concerns, brainstorm solutions and share support. We decided that the best way to deal with the bullying issues was to educate the kids about bullying. We have had Pride perform at school assemblies, we have had guest speakers not only in the classroom but also at our group meetings and we have had law enforcement discuss with our children the legalities of bullying. After learning that the lunch room was a common place for bully occurrences, our group decided that we needed adult presence to help with the kids. In addition, our parent group chaperones field trips, school dances and attend assemblies. We try to help out in any way necessary.
Shortly after beginning our group, we joined forces with The Respect Effect group. The Respect Effect group has been established through funds granted by The Fremont Area Community Foundation and is run out of NCRESA. This group is responsible for raising awareness about bullying and educating students in all Newaygo County School Districts. Amanda Nelson, Assistant Coordinator of Health and Prevention Services at NCRESA, and Denise Rosely, Bullying Prevention Educator at NCRESA, have attended some of our meetings and have helped us so that we can help educate our kids. With the help of Theresa Fetterley, we have organized a group of 5th through 8th graders and created the Anti-Bullying committee, or ABC. These students meet on a regular basis and discuss ways that they can help prevent bullying in the middle school. They are also watching out for bullying situations and informing staff if they see any issues arise.
Our group is now called Champions for Change….enabling our kids to make positive choices. We are making this website so that you have materials and resources to use with your kids as well as to communicate upcoming events and meeting dates to the community. It takes the support of a community to help educate and protect our kids.