Upstander in Action
Here are some resources and examples of Pro-Upstander service-learning projects for your alliance. There are a variety of options here, from one-day projects with just a few people, to school-wide and community-wide efforts. We are also giving you an opportunity to share your ideas with other Upstander Alliances on how to create innovative, powerful and meaningful Pro-Upstander service-learning projects:
So much of what you and your friends experience in school is knowledge that can be valuable (and even life saving!) for others. Writing books about bullying gave some Florida middle-school students a better understanding of how their words and actions impact others and validated the feelings of some targets of bullying. Here’s how they went about planning their Pro-Upstander project.
In 2007, two high school students (David Shepherd and Travis Price) started the Pink Shirt movement after they saw a new student being bullied and harassed for wearing a pink T-shirt. That evening, they purchased as many pink shirts as they could find and then distributed them around the school the next morning, flooding the halls with pink. Since then, the day has become an annual event to help put an end to bullying in schools. What are some Pro-Upstander Projects your Upstander Alliance can design that help others see things differently?
Lunchtime is an awesome part of the day because it’s our time to talk to friends and share a few laughs. But what if we had no one to talk to? A group of high school students in Florida dedicated their lunchtime to making sure that their peers have company. They made a club called We Dine Together and look for students who eat alone during lunch. They then introduce themselves and get to know them, so that they can eat lunch in the company of a new friend. What are some Pro-Upstander Projects your Upstander Alliance can design that make others feel less lonely?
All too often we think that all the big decisions at our school are made by “them”, “the grown-ups”. All our schools have School Boards. And most are eager to listen to the views of students on a number of issues. School board members care about what students think, feel and want to do to create even safe, more supportive, engaging and helpfully challenging schools. The National School Board Association (NSBA) has developed a series of suggestions about key questions for you to consider before meeting with school board members as well as steps you may want to consider after meeting with school board members.
When a student took his life after being cyber-bullied, the community in the San Antonio Independent School District held an anti-bullying rally. Among the participants in the rally was the student-led group, Anti-Harrassment, Anti-Bullying, or AHA-B. AHA-B spreads kindness throughout the community by spinning signs covered with positive messages, and by holding rallies in elementary schools around the district to talk to children about bullying. What can your Upstander Alliance do to reach out to other schools?
During their senior year, two students (Dana Laffey and Matthew Drew) launched an anti-bullying campaign in their school. They organized a schoolwide assembly and brought in outside groups that counseled their peers about combating nasty behavior. They also organized an effort to design and sell "Dude. Be Nice" T-shirts with proceeds going to the National Bullying Prevention Center. This simple idea became an empowering message. Students wore the shirts as a reminder that it’s cool to be kind!
Jonah Maxwell was in the seventh grade when he and his friends made “The Bully”, a short film about how bullying can make our days feel sad and dark, when they could otherwise be bright and happy. Jonah was inspired to make the video from his own experience, as he wanted to spread the message that bullying is not okay. Jonah’s friends and classmates also helped him come up with ideas for the anti-bullying video. The video went viral and received half a million views in a week! Are there actors, directors, filmographers and editors in your Upstander Alliance? How about making a video for your school and community with a similar message?
All of the ideas that you see on this page came from students just like you. You can make such a huge difference for others by sharing your great service-learning ideas with us.