Acts of kindness to counter bullying were part of the strategy as students celebrated “Project Be There”.
During the week-long project, students at Fontainbleau High School in New Orleans created anti-bully awareness, and promoted kindness and the power of good deeds. It didn’t matter how small the good deeds were, the students helped their peers to see the power of them
The project was planned and implemented by the club TrIO, Truth, Inspiration and Outreach, co-sponsored by Mrs. Lenora Nelson and Mrs. Colleen Hildebrand.
The project began as students viewed a video clip of an original rap performed alongside Twista and Faith Evan’s soing “Hope” that was from “Britain’s Got Talent”. Perfomed by Charlie Lenehan and Leondre Devries of Bars & Melody, the rap is about taking a stand against bullying. Afterward, students and teachers set aside time to write thank you notes to someone they appreciated and had never thanked.
The next day, the school’s broadcast shared a poem called “To This Day,” by Shane Koyczan about the bullying he and others received during their school days and its deep, longterm impact. In English classes, inspired by the story of Mark Eklund, teachers and students shared one nice thought about everyone in the class. Mark Eklund was a fallen soldier in the Vietnam War. In the personal effects found in his wallet was a list of the nice things his classmates had listed about him years before in the same activity.
On the following day, teachers were in the limelight. The daily broadcast included a video from teacher and poet, Taylor Mali, reading his spoken word
poem, “Miracle Workers.” Teachers passed out notes explaining why they chose teaching as a profession and continue to choose it each day. Mr. Jeffrey Polito, talented theatre teacher, shared, “My students inspire me to keep reaching for my own creative goals! They remind me that creating theatre is a huge source of joy and a gift to the world. They surround me with their infectious laughter and huge and curious minds. I teach because I want to help my students achieve their dreams!!”