Each November, staff and students at Rensselaer Educational Center take a day and devote it to gaining a better understanding of bullying and how to work together as a community to stand up against bullying. This year, in a collaboration with Questar III’s New Visions: Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program, REC students had the unique opportunity as a group to watch and react to a video the VAPA class created. These New Visions students created, produced and starred in a short but powerful story video that drives home the message that we are all more alike than we are different.
REC staff met with students in groups and held a refresher conversation about bullying as a followup to discussions from the beginning of the school year, then showed the video. After the premiere, staff facilitated an interactive discussion about their thoughts and ideas about how we can dramatically reduce bullying just by taking a stand and always trying to do the right thing, even when no one is watching. Students were impressed with the video’s message and appreciated its point of coming together as a community and not accepting acts of bullying.
This collaboration was important to help drive home the message about taking a stand against bullying. Both the REC and New Visions students benefited from working together to spread the message about accepting differences and learning about each other before making assumptions.
“REC is very fortunate to have this opportunity to collaborate with the New Visions program. Our students were engaged with the video and the discussions after watching it were meaningful, and I think our students learned a lot. Sharing this message consistently can help not only improve our school community, but our society as a whole,” said CTE Outreach Specialist Pamela Mertz.