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“This is the most fun I’ve had in school this year!” - staff at China Primary School
This bystander intervention/upstanders presentation has been seen by nearly 1,700 students so far. A special thanks to Solon Elementary, Clinton Elementary, Atwood Primary, George J. Mitchell School, Albert S. Hall School, and China Primary for being the first schools to host/test the program and allow the opportunity for improvement/additions.
This full-school assembly uses an interactive and highly innovative PowerPoint to bring students on a heroic journey that tests their super powers and takes them beyond our world. The program runs 30-45 minutes.
Super Hero Academy encourages students to use their super powers (eyes, hands, heart, feet, and ears) to help the Scarlet Mask and Purple Lightning overcome their arch-enemy, the Bystander Effect, and to help the alien Oracle find her way home.
When students use their super powers during the presentation, they move their bodies in specific ways. How is this helpful? Susan Shaw, guidance counselor at the George J. Mitchell School, had this to say...
“We just had a presentation by one of our teachers regarding memory and how information is held in the body as well as in the mind and of the three types of memory (semantic which is info presented in words and numbers, episodic which is connecting info to time and place and procedural which is muscle memory) procedural is by far the most helpful which reinforces the idea you had of connecting an action, running in place, holding a hand over the heart etc, with the information...when the kids and I went over the info they all did the gestures as well as the words which was another way of continuing to reinforce what they had learned.”
The themes in the presentation are broad enough that it makes a great jumping point for continued conversations. You can discuss questions like:
· What truly makes people heroic?
· How can you use your eyes, hands, heart, feet, and ears to be a hero?
· How does the Bystander Effect make people feel?
· What can we do to stop the Bystander Effect?
In addition, you’ll have supplemental coloring and activity pages you can print and use with your classroom after seeing Super Hero Academy.
Contact Sean Landry for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-377-1010
Click here to see the Super Hero Academy "Upstanders" Collectible Cards
We asked participating schools the following questions:
As a result of Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Center classroom presentations and programs like Super Hero Academy…
a) Are you seeing more upstander behavior? Please give examples.
b) Do you believe you will see more upstander behavior? Please explain.
c) Do you believe student attitudes toward being an upstander have changed? Please explain.
Here are their answers...
1) I have heard from students, especially regarding the bus, that have made a conscious decision to be upstanders on the bus, most often with the younger students , but not exclusively.
2) We have noticed more Upstander behavior on the playground where students try and help others before telling the teacher, if possible. Anecdotally, they have reported being an Upstander in, for example, the grocery store and the playgrounds around town.
3) I think that once the students were aware of the Upstander/ Bystander language, it gave them the courage to utilize the Upstander position/language.
1. Students have definitely incorporated upstander language into their every day vocabulary. Along with this has come a better understanding of the behavior that is displayed by both upstanders and bystanders. Students have become skilled at knowing when it is appropriate to try to intervene as an upstander and when they should resort to asking for adult assistance. They are also more comfortable advocating for one another when the situation warrants intervention. We have posters situated throughout the various hallways in our school encouraging students to BE AN UPSTANDER, NOT A BYSTANDER....STAND UP FOR YOUR FRIENDS WHEN THEY NEED HELP...so it has become a common theme throughout the building.
2. We certainly have seen an increase in students talking about upstander behaviors and displaying these behaviors as a result of the programming that has been offered through Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center, so we expect that this will continue as this topic is reinforced even more. At the end of this year's Super Hero Academy some of our third graders were already talking about looking forward to what would happen when they got to see the program the following year. The "to be continued" at the end of this year's program certainly whet their appetite for what will occur in the future.
3. Students seem better equipped to be upstanders, having learned skills that allow them to use this intervention more effectively. As they model this behavior for others it is my opinion that students who might have been silent supporters of upstander behavior may become more comfortable in taking a more assertive stance when they see others who are in need of support.
At Solon we are seeing an increase in upstander behavior, especially at the fourth and fifth grade level. On different occasions over the course of the year, I have heard from students that have stuck up for other students when they have heard students saying mean and inappropriate things. This has been reported on at least 4 different occasions, both by the upstander and the victim.
The Solon students always look forward to Sean's visits and presentations. I believe that continued programming will continue to foster upstander attitudes and behaviors.
Kennebec & Somerset Counties in Maine
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse... there is someone who will listen.
Call the Maine Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Line
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