Peacemakers Program & Bully Prevention
Westernport Elementary School hosts a Peacemakers Program for students in grades 3-5. Students in these grades are trained by the school counselor in peer mediation as they work to teach younger students to be fair, take turns, and work out problems in positive ways. Each month, students are placed on a rotating schedule and partnered with a classmate to have the opportunity to serve as a monitor of and mentor to younger students during recess. Peacemakers not only help younger students work through problems, but can also proactively lead games and activities.
Additionally, during the month of October, which in National Bullying Prevention Month, Westernport has incorporated several activities to involve students and help them learn the importance of treating others with respect. Project Connect is one such activity. Students had the opportunity to write on an orange link ways that they can help keep the school safe. These links were then connected first by classroom and then as a school community to show unity and commitment to bully prevention. Second Step Bully Prevention guidance lessons are also conducted at all grade levels to learn the definition of bullying, how to recognize this repeated behavior, and how to report bullying if they see it or are the victim of it.
Mr. Tim Stevens, Westernport D.A.R.E. instructor and School Safety Officer, began teaching the program to this year's fifth grade students on September 30, 2019. The program will conclude on October 16, 2019, and culminate in a graduation celebration on November 8, 2019. D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence. It was founded in 1983 and has proven so successful that it has been implemented in thousands of schools throughout the United States and 50+ other countries. D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.
Peacemakers and Bully Prevention
Active Learning Labs
New this year at Westernport Elementary School is an Active Learning Lab in Jennifer Hughes fourth grade classroom. The students had the opportunity to utilize this technology as part of a recent science lesson in which they were to brainstorm ways in which their county negatively impacts the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. As part of the lesson, the students were asked to "dump" a variety of pollutants into the Potomac River.