Saturday, April 20, 2013

Save the Drama for the Stage!

WOW!  A lot of great things can happen when you get 37 girls  (3rd - 6th grade) together to spread the messaged about bullying.  Last night our GIRLS Empowered 2013 group put on the play Save the Drama for the Stage for an almost full house of parents, family and friends.  These girls worked so hard for the past month and even when we had unpredicted snow days (3 to be exact!)  we decided the SHOW MUST GO ON and so it did.  You want to hear something strange?  We never got all the way through the play until our last run-through which was right after school yesterday.....and we finished that run through and hour and a half before show time!  Each girl amazed me---from those having to work out the details of the set design and costumes, the speaking parts, the way they all got into character, and all the behind the scenes work!  I also had 2 moms who helped with the directing and there is no way I could have done it without them!  THANKS MELISSA AND JAIME! 

One never knows what to expect from something like this.  The main goal was not to entertain but to learn from this and teach others.  We based the play on Trudy Ludwig's 2 books, My Secret Bully and Confessions of a Former Bully.  These books tell a story of how even girls who consider each other friends can be mean to each other.  And the best part was when Katie (the role who discovers she was being a bully to her friend) figures out how to help others because of what she learned.  
The girls presented 8 Tools from the tool belt you need when you are getting bullied.

Tool #1:  STOP!  Look the kid in the eye and tell him to stop talking to you that way.

Tool #2:  Why? Why? Why?  Ask a “why”  question  after someone says something mean to you.  It distracts the kid who is trying to push your buttons.

Tool #3:  Walk Away .  If someone is being mean to you, you don’t have to stand there and take it.  Walk or run to a safe place and hang out with grown-ups and kids you trust.

Tool #4:  So, Whatever, Huh, Who cares?  Say one or two words in a neutral tone.  make sure your words aren’t cruel or hurtful.

Tool #5  Change the Subject--Distract the kid by talking calmly about other things.

Tool # 6 Act Silly or Goofy.  Use humor in a harmless way.  Don’t put someone down to build yourself up.

Tool #7:  Turn an Insult into a compliment--turn the negative into something positive--ONLY if it does not bother you to do this.

Tool #8--Agree with the bully--Go along with what the kid says--- ONLY if you don’t feel bad doing this.

These all come from Trudy Ludwig's Confessions of a Former Bully.

We talk about these and practice using these in classroom guidance as well as small groups. They really do work.

Statistics about bullying, why kids bully and what is considered bullying was all presented.

So, today as I relax after much hard work, I want to give a very LOUD shout out to the GIRLS of GIRLS Empowered 2013 and the dedicated volunteers who helped me direct this!