Bullying has impacted all of us one way or another, either firsthand or as a bystander. For many, it leaves lifelong scars. My experience involved growing up with a sibling who was developmentally delayed and struggled with social interaction. He was the kid who sat alone at lunch, or recess and was largely ignored by his peers. From a very early age, I learned how one simple act of kindness or inclusion could change the trajectory of someone's life – a realization that ended up providing the baseline of the Be THE Voice initiative!
I was able to share the Be THE Voice story at District conference last week, and our mission to equip today’s youth with the interpersonal skills to become an unwavering “voice” of inclusion in their schools and communities. Our innovative approach is highly effective in changing student mindset for a number of reasons!
BTV amplifies the impact of other social-and-emotional learning initiatives the school has in place.
In addition to the benefits outlined above, 2021-22 teacher survey feedback reported a significant decrease in both in-school and out-of-school suspensions in both the Elementary and Middle-School programs. And, recent data showed a 36% decrease in office referrals and a 23% decrease in out-of-school suspensions in one of our largest school Districts between 2021/22 and 2022/23!
Be THE Voice benefits both students and staff by creating a space where students feel connected to their peers and are ready to learn, and a classroom where teachers can focus on academics instead of managing student misbehavior.
If your Rotary club is looking to grow visibility and make a lasting impression in your community, consider sponsoring an area school with the BTV initiative. Trust me when I say that parents will remember the sponsor of a program that improved their child’s school experience!
All you need is a school club to spearhead the initiative, so if you are interested please email me at email@example.com. Deadline to enroll for the 2023-24 program cycle is May 31st (with payment due in July).