"When it comes to creating a bully-free environment, early intervention is the key to success," explains Peter J. Goodman, author of the book "We're All Different But We're All Kitty Cats," which teaches kids about bullying. "It is important to start laying the foundation for a bully-free classroom and school right from the start. By doing this, they will be more likely to use what they have learned as they grow."
To help lay a bully-free foundation, Goodman has taken his popular book and bundled it with an educational curriculum that he co-authored with Karen Goldberg, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in working with parents and families. They also teamed up with other mental health professionals on the project to ensure that the lessons would be effective and well received by young students.
The comprehensive package is designed to be used as a tool for teachers, so they can start creating a bully-free classroom while children are in elementary school. The book uses a cast of cat characters that help teach children about bullying, as well as about being accepting of others despite having differences.
The curriculum that is packaged with the children's book is titled "Bully-Free Students Make Bully-Free Classrooms." It has been carefully designed to incorporate lessons that help teach about what bullying is, how it makes people feel, how children can identify feelings, and how they can go about making the right decisions when it comes to bullying, teasing, and accepting others.
NASP also reports that school-wide bullying prevention programs have been found to help reduce incidents of bullying by 50 percent. They also advise that the research shows that effective school programs to help prevent bullying should be started as early as preschool and elementary school.
"If we can give children a good bully-free foundation, they will be off to a good start," adds Goodman. "They will carry that attitude with them throughout middle and high school, and even into adulthood. It's a matter of making it fun and interesting, and keeping them involved. That's exactly what our cast of cat characters does."
Here are some helpful tips for schools to establish and maintain a bully-free campus and classroom:
Dr. Phil recently pointed out on a CNN interview that 77 percent of the time when there is an aggressive incident, bystanders do not intervene. Yet bystanders make up the majority of the school, making them an important tool in helping to prevent and stop bullying. Part of the bully-free approach taken by Goodman has been to help teach children to become "upstanders," where they step in and help bring an end to bullying.
The Kitty Cats book and curriculum has been written for children in kindergarten through the third grade. The earlier children learn about the importance of preventing bullying, the better. To learn more about the book series, the curriculum bundle, or to purchase the volume that addresses bullying, visit www.kittycatsbook.com.
About dreamBIG Press
dreamBIG Press is a publishing house that has created a series of children's books titled We're All Different But We're All Kitty Cats. The books are designed for elementary-school-aged children, to tackle common issues that they may encounter such as bullying, childhood fears, confidence, being different, and making friends. Through the use of a cast of cats, the author helps children better understand those issues, and learn how to deal with them. The company was started by Peter J. Goodman, a multimedia children's author and president of Gut Instinct Creative, an award-winning marketing communications company. For more information about dreamBIG Press or the book series, visit the site at: www.kittycatsbook.com or our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/kittycatsbook.
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