School: Trimpe Middle School in Bethalto, IL Contact: Miss Jennifer Gowin Members: Sam Neumann, Marcus Tuckson, Azia Ray, Alexis Noel, Madison Dixon, Hailey Chappell, Grace Witsken, Parker Scottberg, Luke Parmentier, Brayden Zyung, and Olivia Goodman
Purpose The goal of our project is to help make our school environment more friendly and positive. Bullying is an issue our school, like many others, that our school is faced with. To address this problem, we are going to educate our peers about the four pillars: Dignity, Respect, Understanding, and Forgiveness. We believe that if students are made aware of the pillars and understand them, then we should have less problems with bullying at our school. We have created a webpage that talks about the four pillars and bullying. We have resources listed on the website that will tell the students what to do if they see bullying or are being bullied themselves. We will try to encourage positive treatment of others and the application of the four pillars. We hope that the ideas we have come up with will have a lasting impact on our school, and that we will be able to use these ideas for many years to come. To evaluate the program we, the Pillars Committee, will give out surveys a few times a year to see how we can help our school become more successful. We will ask questions about bullying and hopefully, after some time has passed, the results from the survey will show less students are being bullied. If not, we will continue to meet as a group and brainstorm ways in which we can help, and then, take action.
Statement of Issue Our team has chosen to address bullying. Bullying is a problem at our middle school and we want to address it and help make our school a more inviting, friendly place. It seems students are constantly posting rude, nasty, degrading comments on social media and, in turn, this negativity trickles into our school and causes problems. We know we cannot control what kids put on their social media accounts, but we want to help teach students how their words can hurt others and let the students who are hurting, know where to get help.
Currently our school educates about 600 students. According to our District Report Card, 91.6% of the students in our district are Caucasian, 1.6% African American, 2.3% Hispanic, .8% Asian, .3% Native American, and 3.3% mixed races. Of these students, 50.3% are considered economically disadvantaged. We hope to make our school a welcoming place for students of all backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities.
Project Description To begin our project, we are working on a website (http://pillarscommittee.weebly.com/) as a way to reach students and the community. We want teach them about the four pillars, kindness, and how to address bullying. We believe if the students (and parents) have a better understanding of these topics, they will be able to demonstrate more positive character traits. Members of our “Pillars Committee” will go around the Advisory classrooms in our school and talk to the students about our mission, and tell the students where to find more information. We are hoping this will be a “non-cheesy” way to give students important information. We are also working on videos to post on our website!
Next, we plan on hanging this banner (pictured below) in our school cafeteria and in two other places throughout our school.
Once we receive our banners, during school lunches, we will have students sign the banner, if they promise to uphold the four pillars and promise to be kind. We will give each student, who pledges their commitment, a “Livestrong” style bracelet that looks like this: