Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Our Kindness Garden...


Who knew you could plant a garden in Red Deer in the middle of January? Well, Mrs. Grainger's grade one class did just that today, but it's a different kind of garden. The first graders planted a kindness garden.

The idea to plant a kindness garden evolved after the kids were talking about 'No Name Calling Week' at Glendale School. We are joining thousands of others around the world to shed light on the issue of name calling by recognizing January 21-25 as No Name Calling Week. Mrs. Grainger's class was trying to think of a way to teach others kind words they could use instead of name calling. As they talked about what they wanted to do, they came up with the idea that everyone likes flower gardens, so why not create a garden that would teach others about kind words? They thought that people would see their garden and want to "stop to smell the flowers," and then they would see that the flowers weren't regular flowers. They would be good word flowers that not only looked and smelled nice, but sounded nice too!

So there it was... a brilliant idea to create a garden of 'good word flowers.' Today the garden caught my eye as I was walking down the hallway, so I stopped to take a look. When it's -25 below 0 outside, an indoor flower garden is a pretty nice place to be. When I got closer I saw a kind word for every student in the class, and each was growing along with the flower it was written on. I opened the door to ask the kids about their garden, and one girl said, "we made the flowers all different sizes so small and tall people could read the words." I thanked the kids for planting their garden, and then went to check out the tweets they had written earlier in the day about what they like to be called. Here's how that went...

Monday, 21 January 2013

No Name Calling at Glendale School...


flickr image via db Photography | Demi-Brooke

No Name-Calling Week is an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities.
Glendale Sciences and Technology School is excited to participate in No Name Calling Week, January 21-25, 2013. As part of our Empathy ReBoot Project we aim to draw attention to the issue of name-calling during the week. We are committed to taking steps that effectively address its causes resulting in a more caring and safe school where everyone feels a sense of purpose and belonging that extends beyond this week to become more of our everyday cultural reality at Glendale School.


From the No Name Calling Week website... 
No Name-Calling Week was inspired by a young adult novel entitled "The Misfits" by popular author, James Howe. The book tells the story of four best friends trying to survive the seventh grade in the face of all too frequent taunts based on their weight, height, intelligence, and sexual orientation/gender expression. Motivated by the inequities they see around them, the "Gang of Five" (as they are known) creates a new political party during student council elections and run on a platform aimed at wiping out name-calling of all kinds. The No-Name Party in the end, wins the support of the school's principal for their cause and their idea for a "No Name-Calling Day" at school.
Motivated by this simple, yet powerful, idea, the No Name-Calling Week Coalition created by GLSEN and Simon & Schuster Children's publishing, consisting of over 40 national partner organizations, organized an actual No Name-Calling Week in schools across the US. The project seeks to focus national attention on the problem of name-calling in schools, and to provide students and educators with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate name-calling in their communities.