Besides lessons in math, science and language arts, some students in Elkhart are learning an important lesson about bullies from other kids.
Mr. Hunnings' sixth grade class at Riverview Elementary just received a one-thousand dollar grant from the Martin's Super Market One School at a Time program.
The money will help their bully prevention program.
It was a miserable day for a couple of kids in Elkhart when they found themselves bullied by their classmates
Thankfully, it was just part of a play performed by some 6th grade actors at Riverview Elementary School.
The skit shared an important message about bullies and what kids should do if they are getting picked on.
Sixth grader Bryan Gavarrete says, “It inspires them to speak up if they're getting bullied a lot, and they feel really bad about themselves. This story inspires them not to take wrong paths into bullying.”
Taking on the role of a bully was an eye-opening experience.
Max McLaughlin says, “Through the eyes of a bully, you don't really think that anything is going on, but it is, and it can really hurt some people.”
Diojonae Mackey adds, “After I realized how mean I was, I kind of felt bad because I know how it feels to be bullied, and I didn't want other people to feel that way.”
Ashley Stoltz says, “When I was bullying the other people, it kind of felt like when I was bullied.”
The play was written by teacher Douglas Hunnings.
Hunnings says, “When I was younger, I was a victim of bullying, so I used this to tell the story, to help others from going through what I experienced.”
His students not only learned an anti-bully message, they gained confidence and public speaking skills.
Sixth grader Tatiana Aguilar says, “At first, I thought I was going to mess up and be terrible, but when we started practicing, I think it got easier and easier.”
Hunnings says, “They really impressed me. I'm so proud of them.”
Now, he wants other schools to see this play. The grant money will be used for transportation and props.
“This is going to be such a good project, and I hope that they can reach kids with this message all over our community.”
You can still apply to the One School at a Time grant program.
The winning school gets one-thousand dollars from Martin's Super Market, and a new winner is picked each month.
Schools only need to apply once, and you can do so by going to michianaschools.com.