Going Back to School and Making Friends | Corona, CA

Welcome to another school year! For some, it is returning to the same school with the same friends. For others, this may be a very scary time as they are starting in a new place without anyone familiar. Here are some helpful tips to think about when it comes to making friends and having a great school year:

Smile. Smiles make you seem friendly and make others feel special.

Make eye contact. When you look people in the eye, they feel like you’re interested in them and what they are saying.

Say hello. Greet classmates you haven’t talked to before – hello is the first step toward making a new friend. Make a goal to talk to one new person a week.

Forget stereotypes. Don’t stereotype schoolmates by the groups they belong to and don’t limit yourself to your current group.

Be involved. Extracurricular activities are opportunities to meet others who like the same things you do.

Be better. You don’t have to be the same as you were last year. The older you become, the more life experience you have, the better your social skills become.

Ask for advice. If you’re having trouble making friends or keeping friends, turn to people you respect to talk about your difficulties.

Be a good friend. Treat others the way you want them to treat you.

Be trustworthy. Keep your friends’ secrets and confidences, no matter how tempting telling others might be.

Be truthful. Lying might feel easier, but the truth eventually comes out and makes the situation much worse.

Speak up. If you see someone bring bullied or called names, stand up for the victim.

Apologize. If you hurt someone or mistakenly do something you shouldn’t have, say you’re sorry.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Mississippi 10-Year-Old Writes Anti-Bullying Book | Corona, CA

By Associated Press | Aug. 27, 2022, at 1:01 a.m. By BLAKE ALSUP, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal TUPELO, Miss. (AP) —

William Faulkner was 29 years old.

Richard Wright was 30.

John Grisham, Eudora Welty and Greg Iles were all around age 33.

But Atiya Henley was just 10 years old when she published her first book.

Atiya will enter the fifth grade at West Clay Elementary this school year, but unlike most — if not all — of her classmates, she’s already a published author.

Published in February, Atiya’s short book, “The Mean Girls: A Bunch of Bullies,” carries an anti-bullying message.

Atiya’s mother, Amy Deanes, founded West Point-based Superior Publishing in 2020. The small publishing house currently distributes the work of 13 authors; among them, Atiya’s book has been the publisher’s best seller.

According to Deanes, her daughter has always been interested in writing stories. In fact, she wrote a book titled “Black Joe” before writing “The Mean Girls.”

The idea to write this specific book came about during a conversation with her mom. Atiya was playing a game, and Deanes suggested that she create her own game or write a book that other people can experience.

Although the book isn’t based on a situation she’s personally experienced or witnessed at school, she’s seen news reports on the effects of bullying. Atiya said she wanted to do something to help make people aware of bullying in an effort to help stop it.

“I’m very passionate of others’ feelings, and I don’t like when someone gets mistreated or left out,” Atiya said.

The 34-page book took her about a month to write. Her mother both edited and illustrated it.

Atiya and her eight classmates made up the entire fourth grade class at West Clay Elementary during the 2021-22 school year. Her whole class was involved in making the book, posing as characters in photo illustrations.

“We have a very small class, so basically all of them are best friends,” Atiya said.

The school’s principal, teachers and students were overjoyed to have an active part in the book’s creation and have supported it after release as Atiya has traveled to other schools and churches promoting it.

With a head start on what could be a productive career, Atiya is already planning future publications. She plans to publish the first book she penned, “Black Joe,” in the near future, and is currently working on a sequel to “The Mean Girls” subtitled “The Silent Bullies.”

The fifth grader has no intentions of putting down her proverbial pen. As an adult, she hopes to be an author and a real estate agent.

At just 10 years old, she’s already halfway there.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

A Catchy Tune with an Anti-Bullying Message | Corona, CA

An anti-bullying song is one of the tracks on the new album “Hazel Eyes” by local Hawaiian band Kolohe Kai. The song was used as part of the Hawaiʻi Department of Health’s Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week campaign earlier this year.

Lead singer Roman De Peralta wrote the track “I Think You’re Beautiful,” and describes it as an uplifting song with an empowering message. The Conversation sat down with De Peralta to discuss the inspiration behind the music.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

School Attributes Anti-Bullying Setting for Student Success | Corona, CA

Hidden Treasure Christian School wants to make mission more visible

By Myra Ruiz | Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 5:00 PM PDT

TAYLORS, S.C. (FOX Carolina) – When John Vaughn, then a minister at Faith Baptist Church, started Hidden Treasure Christian School, he had his daughter’s best interests in mind.

“My dad didn’t want me in the public school system because other children would make fun of me and I would not learn about God,” Becky Vaughn told FOX Carolina.

On May 20, 1978, a house fire left Vaughn with third-degree burns on 95 percent of her body. Her mother, Brenda Vaughn, also survived the fire with third-degree burns to 65 percent of her body.

Not only did the pastor want a bully-free and academically-fulfilling education for his daughter but also one that would instill Christian values. Vaughn said she is grateful for the education she received.

“It helped me to have a biblical perspective to know that God had a purpose and a plan for my life,” Vaughn said.

When the school opened in 1981, its only two students were Vaughn and a 13-year-old girl with Down Syndrome. The next year, enrollment doubled and then kept growing in subsequent years. Today there are 60 students at the school – each diagnosed with a special need that may be physical, emotional, mental, intellectual or a combination of any of these.

Bullying has not been an issue here and we pray it never will be,” Dr. Carl Herbster, Hidden Treasure Administrator, told FOX Carolina. “We’re here to help parents raise their children in a way that would accomplish the greatest potential for that young person.”

Hidden Treasure customizes each student’s curriculum to fit individual needs. The low student-to-teacher ratio and special attention given to each pupil’s learning process have led families from other states to choose Hidden Treasure.

Veronica Smith moved from Atlanta. After touring the school, she realized that Hidden Treasure would be the best place for her 16-year-old daughter, Teagan, who is considered low-verbal.

“I love the school,” Smith said. “Her reading has improved. Her math has improved. Her writing has improved. Her confidence in herself has improved.”

The yearly tuition at Hidden Treasure is $21,000. As a private school, it does not receive any state or federal funding. The school raises money for scholarships, so families aren’t excluded due to financial need.

“We don’t want (Hidden Treasure) as a ministry be a hidden treasure,” Herbster said. “We want to develop the hidden treasure in every young person that comes to us.”

Copyright 2022 WHNS. All rights reserved.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

21 Facts About Bullying You May Not Know | Corona, CA

bullying

No one likes a bully. And no one deserves to be bullied. Unfortunately, while it feels like you’re the only one enduring the pain that is associated with bullying, it is something that happens to so many of us in our lifetimes. In fact, there are some pretty awful statistics revolving around bullying. Thankfully, light always cast away darkness – and some of the most brilliant light comes from simple acts of kindness. So, don’t be afraid of the bullies and never let them get you down. You aren’t alone. And it will get better.

1. More than half of people under 25 have experienced bullying at some point.

2. 20% of people surveyed, said that they often experienced verbal bullying.

3. 24% of young people are worried about getting abuse online

4. People with a physical disability, are unfortunately more likely to experience bullying than a person without a physical disability.

5. 5% of people surveyed, said that they constantly experienced physical bullying.

6. Social exclusion is a form of bullying. That means, when your mates leave you out on purpose to hurt your feelings, they are indirectly bullying you.

7. More than a third of people go on to develop Social Anxiety and Depression as a direct result of bullying.

8. Almost a quarter of those who have been bullied have had suicidal thoughts.

9. Guys are more likely to bully someone than anyone else.

10.  Those who bully are far more likely to have experienced stressful and traumatic situations in recent times.

11. Of those who bullied daily, 58% had experienced the death of a relative.

12. Bullying is not an identity, but a learnt behavior.

13. The #1 most common reason why people experience bullying is because of attitudes towards their appearance, with attitudes towards hobbies & interests and clothing coming in close at second and third place.

14. 69% of people have admitted to doing something abusive to another person online

15. 62% of people said they were bullied by a classmate

16. People who identify as LGBT+ are more likely to experience bullying.

17. 26% of people reported experiencing cyberbullying in the past 12-months. (2019)

18. More than a quarter of people have had suicidal thoughts as a result of cyberbullying.

19. 35% of people have sent a screenshot of someone’s status to laugh at in a group chat.

20. Almost two-thirds of people agreed that social networks don’t do enough to combat cyberbullying.

21. 44% of people under 25 said that ‘real-life’ means ‘only things that happen offline.’

All statistics are taken from Ditch the Label research.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Random Acts of Kindness Day Should Be Year-Round | Corona, CA

Have you ever had someone randomly do something nice for you? Have you ever done something nice for someone out of the blue? It’s one of those simple ways you can brighten not only someone else’s day, but your day as well. There’s just something about making someone happy that can make your insides feel nice.

February 17th is known as National Act of Kindness Day. Sure, doing something nice for someone can, and should, happen every day of the year. But it’s a holiday that was created in New Zealand by Josh de Jong that has spread across the globe. And for good reason – taking a moment to think about someone else is something the world needs, especially after the rough time we’ve all had dealing with the pandemic and its aftereffects. In fact, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation celebrates a whole week (February 13 – 19, 2022) because they believe in kindness and dedicated themselves to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.

So, what are you going to do to celebrate this very kind holiday? The effort can be as simple as a smile to a stranger – smiles go a long way for someone that is feeling blue. It isn’t a monetary thing; the point is to give someone the “warm and cozies” by your unexpected gesture. If you want to jazz up your good deed ideas, here’s a quick list:

  • Pay for the coffee or meal of the person in front of you in line.
  • Leave a kind note for someone.
  • Share words of encouragement.
  • Drop off some groceries at the local food pantry.
  • Mail a “thinking of you” card to someone you’ve not to talk to in a while.

If you would like to learn more about random acts of kindness, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

How to Avoid the Haters | Corona, CA

We’ve all heard the term before, especially online. “Hater” is a new word used to describe a bully. They use hurtful and negative comments to not only bring someone down but make themselves feel better about themselves. It can be online, in your personal life or affecting something or someone you love. If online, they are often anonymous. Keyboard warriors, if you will. But a bully can be virtually anyone. Like bullying, hater behavior is something that a person does – it is not who they are, and it can be changed.

But why do they do it? Haters often pick on people whom they perceive as being different from themselves. When inflicting these hurtful words, they understand that they are upsetting, can trigger feelings of anger, hurt, and confusion, and cause the person being criticized to question their self-worth and behavior.

Because it is often experienced online, it can be difficult to deal with a hater. Social media platforms are trying to monitor this, but it is almost an impossible task. In fact, there are a few ways you can avoid the haters in your everyday life. But there are some tips to consider if you’ve found you have a hater on your hands:

  • Ignore it and walk away without reacting or responding.
  • Block anyone online who are making negative or hateful comments on your posts or account, take screenshots and report them.
  • Be kind and respectful – killing them with kindness is a great way to not let it affect you emotionally.
  • Stick with supporters because there is strength in numbers.
  • Remind yourself that comments from a hater are a reflection of them, not you.
  • Understand criticism can be a sign of pain.
  • Acknowledge your feelings.
  • Keep being you.

If you would like to learn more about bullying prevention tips, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Wear Orange for Unity Day! | Corona, CA

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time of year that we take pause to realize that bullying comes in many forms and is extremely hurtful, but we should all be willing to do something to prevent it from happening.

This year, Unity Day falls on October 20th and is one event that has been recognized in the U.S. since 2011 and is celebrated with individuals, schools, communities, and businesses wearing or sharing the color orange to unite for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to prevent students being bullied. And what a great cause to get behind! After all the chaos that we’ve had to endure the past couple of years, it is important to look after each other in the most positive way possible.

I know what you may be thinking, why the color orange? Because October is an autumn month that includes Halloween, and Halloween’s mascot is the pumpkin, orange is the perfect warm color to represent that inviting feeling we are trying to convey to others. Not only that, but orange is a bright color that is associated with safety and visibility, and that is exactly the point we are trying to make – we need to radiate empathy and warmth towards others each and every day.

In the past, there have been many examples of groups and businesses participating. In 2013, the iconic Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, MN wore an orange toga and lit up the night sky with an orange glow. TLC of the Discovery Channel made their logo orange for the day. Others have tied orange ribbons to a fence or around a tree, offered an orange item for sale with proceeds to the National Bullying Prevention Center, or created a unity mural.

If you would like to learn more about Unity Day, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Nation Lights Up Blue as STOMP Out Bullying Kicks off 15th Annual World Bullying Prevention Month | Corona, CA

By STOMP Out Bullying / Sep 30, 2021 | NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/

October is World Bullying Prevention Month, an initiative that began 15 years ago by the leading anti-bullying non-profit organization STOMP Out Bullying. World Bullying Prevention Month is celebrated when students, schools and communities wear blue to help STOMP Out Bullying.

During October, students, schools, and communities all over the world will unite against bullying, donning the symbolic color of blue to highlight bullying prevention. STOMP Out Bullying is calling on everyone to stand in solidarity with those who experience bullying in all its ways, whether cyberbullying, hatred, discrimination, racism, cruelty, or exclusion, making it the day that bullying prevention is heard around the world.

“In response to all forms of bullying, we must end the hate and ‘Change the Culture’ together,” noted Ross Ellis, CEO of STOMP Out Bullying. “We can only stop these cruel and violent behaviors through the promotion and practice of civility, diversity, equity, equality, inclusion, and unity.”

In addition to schools across the country, dozens of landmarks and iconic buildings in the U.S. have signed on to light up blue or #BlueUp in support of the cause, including MetLife Stadium (NJ), NASCAR Hall of Fame (NC), Navy Pier in Chicago (IL), Niagara Falls (NY), and many more. Throughout the month, more organizations will pledge to #BlueUp, and all are encouraged to go blue or wear blue to send a message that bullying must end.

The month-long, anti-bullying movement kicks off at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 3, when California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), official pizza of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will welcome STOMP Out Bullying Youth Leaders to the field at the Dodgers’ last game of the regular season. Youth Leaders Elena Pass Brown of New York, Kurtis Elfring of Arizona, Emma Farley of New York, and Jace Izuno of California will join CPK CEO Jim Hyatt in throwing out the game’s first pitch in front of a sea of Dodger blue.

In addition, CPK has launched a nationwide fundraiser at all its U.S. locations, donating a percentage of sales during October to STOMP Out Bullying. Full details of the fundraiser are available through the earlier CPK announcement. CPK will join other U.S. landmarks in the #BlueUp lighting campaign, as five of its retail locations in California go blue with blue-lit exteriors.

Other landmarks and buildings participating in #BlueUp include: 35W Bridge (MN), Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf (MA), Caesar’s Superdome (LA), Delaware Legislative Hall (DE), Duke Energy Center (NC), Electric Tower (NY), FMC Tower (PA), Houston City Hall (TX), Miami Tower (FL), Mid-Hudson Bridge (NY), Nashville State Capitol (TN), Oklahoma City Sky Bridge (OK), One & Two Liberty Place (PA), Peace Bridge (NY), Tennessee Tower (TN), The Wheel at Island in Pidgeon Forge (TN), Willis Tower in Chicago (IL). For a full list and more information, visit STOMPoutbullying.org.

About STOMP Out Bullying

Created in 2005, STOMP Out Bullying™ is the leading national nonprofit dedicated to changing the culture for all students. It works to reduce and prevent bullying, cyberbullying, and other digital abuse, educates against homophobia, LGBTQ+ discrimination, racism and hatred, and deters violence in schools, online and in communities across the country. In this diverse world, STOMP Out Bullying promotes civility, inclusion, and equality. It teaches effective solutions on how to respond to all forms of bullying, as well as educating kids and teens in school and online. It provides help for those in need and at risk of suicide, and raises awareness through peer mentoring programs in schools, public service announcements by noted celebrities, and social media campaigns.

For Media Inquiries Only: Jessica del Mundo: jessica@10storyhouse.com or media@stompoutbullying.org

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nation-lights-up-blue-as-stomp-out-bullying-kicks-off-15th-annual-world-bullying-prevention-month-in-october-301388610.html

If you would like to learn more about STOMP Out Bullying events , contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

When It Comes to Bullying of LGBTQ Teens Local Politics Matters | Corona, CA

By Cara Murez, HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Youth who identify as LGBTQ+ suffer more bullying at their schools when they live in areas with politically conservative voting records, a new study finds.

School boards should do more to implement policies that go beyond minimum protections for LGBTQ+ youth, regardless of political affiliation, the researchers suggested.

“To my knowledge, nobody has really looked at this connection between a school district’s political attitudes and the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in schools,” said study co-author Paul Kwon, a professor of psychology at Washington State University. “This project highlights an inequity that is not talked about a lot and shows the need for more explicit and inclusive anti-bullying legislation and policies that help mitigate the risks to LGBTQ+ youth, regardless of district political attitudes.”

The study examined school district voting records in the 2016 presidential election, as well as bullying experiences in schools and mental health outcomes of LGBTQ+ students in Washington state using the 2018 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey. The survey included 50,000 students in grades eight to 12, asking about sexual and gender identity, bullying and whether or not teachers intervened during instances of bullying. About 20% of the students included in the survey identified as being LGBTQ+.

Researchers found that LGBTQ+ students are at a higher risk for psychological distress and suicidal thoughts as a result of bullying, particularly in school districts that voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. These students also reported their teachers were less likely to intervene in instances of bullying than students who responded from more liberal voting districts. The study only found an association between political leanings, bullying and teacher intervention; it wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect link.

In areas where teachers intervened almost always, instances of bullying for LGBTQ+ students matched their non-LGBTQ+ peers, whereas without intervention the LGBTQ+ students reported more bullying.

“This was especially prevalent in more conservative school districts where LGBTQ+ youth report less teacher intervention despite experiencing more bullying,” Kwon said in a university news release. “Over 35% of youth in our study are students in a conservative-leaning school district, possibly placing them at greater risk for more bullying experiences and higher psychological distress.”

The researchers suggested school policy should include explicit parameters for training and education for teachers regarding LGBTQ+ bullying, as well as steps for teachers and administrators to intervene following LGBTQ+ bullying experiences. All school websites should explicitly describe anti-bullying policies as they relate to LGBTQ+ youth using specific examples, the authors said.

“We also recommend educators discuss anti-bullying policy with students and families at the start of each school year, while concurrently highlighting LGBTQ+ identities, particularly in conservative districts,” Kwon said. “After all, students have little choice in the school they attend, almost no choice in the school district they belong to and are unable to vote until they are 18. Thus, they are subjected to the environment of the school and broader culture of the school district chosen for them.”

The findings were published recently in the journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.

The Trevor Lifeline provides LGBTQ+ individuals with crisis intervention and suicide prevention help.

SOURCE: Washington State University, news release, July 19, 2021

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.