School bullying continues to be an issue in the 21st century, but a week-long event at several local, early-childhood centers is seeking to tackle …
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School bullying continues to be an issue in the 21st century,
but a week-long event at several local, early-childhood centers is
seeking to tackle the problem from the ground up.
The Goddard School, a nationwide preschool system with six
locations in the south metro area, is hosting Community Games Day
on Feb. 11. The celebration will be the conclusion of a week-long
anti-bullying program. Instilling positive behavior in children
ages 6 weeks to 6 years prevents bullying in later years, according
to Goddard School of Littleton owner Mandy King.
“The whole thing is to help children become confident and doing
that by giving them an opportunity in a bunch of different social
settings,” King said.
According to STOMP Out Bullying, a national organization
anti-bullying initiative for children and teenagers, one out of
every four children in the U.S. are bullied at some point in their
lives. About 80 percent of these incidents result in a physical
Each Goddard School’s anti-bullying week has a slightly
different itinerary, but the Littleton campus will focus days on
friendship, playing along, good deeds, caring and community
heroism. The goal is to build confidence and positive social
skills, such as encouraging fellow children who are struggling and
not being overly competitive. Goddard School teachers incorporate
these lessons into their daily activities, hoping to prevent
children from becoming bullies.
“Bullying in the current world, especially in early childhood,
is wanting to get your way and doing whatever you can to get it,”
Children who don’t learn these lessons at a young age are at
risk to become bullies as they enter their K-12 years. Littleton
Public Schools has its own methods for dealing with bullying,
starting with the student code of conduct. Positive behavior
support plans also exist in 18 of the district’s schools. These
programs, which exist nationwide, are meant to prevent negative
behaviors while building a positive and safe environment.
“In doing this, there is a culture that is created focused on
positive behavior and relationships amongst students and amongst
staff,” said Melissa Cooper, the director of student support
services and special education at Littleton Public Schools. “That’s
the foundation of our social emotional programming.”
Goddard Community Games day, which will be at all Denver-area
locations Feb. 11, is a free program designed to benefit both
parents and children. Parents will learn methods for preventing
bullying, while children will build relationships and self-esteem.
The day is meant to be fun and will center on games and
Littleton’s two major initiatives will be a canned food drive
and writing 25,000 postcards to send overseas to troops. The aim is
for children to learn about giving and compassion.
More information about Community Games Day can be found on the
Goddard School’s website, www.goddardschool.com. There are
locations in Littleton, Englewood, Centennial, Castle Rock,
Highlands Ranch and Parker.
“As we foster a sense of accomplishment and purpose in each
child, we build a foundation of self-confidence that we believe is
the best defense against bullying,” said Sue Adair, director of
education at Goddard Systems Inc.
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