Riverside School Coffee House to Highlight“ Teaching Kindness” Advisory Program

FOR RIVERSIDE SCHOOL PARENTS

November 1, 2018

The Riverside School
30 Lily Pond Road
Lyndonville, VT  05851
(802) 626-8552
Contact: Mel Reis, (802) 592-3079

RIVERSIDE SCHOOL COFFEE HOUSE TO HIGHLIGHT“ TEACHING KINDNESS” ADVISORY PROGRAM

 Lyndonville, VT -  The Riverside School coordinates parent group discussions entitled, “Coffee Houses” and public group forums each year. These theme-based, informal group discussions invite the Riverside parents and, sometimes, the public to meet with school staff, faculty, and professionals in their field to discuss subjects relevant to life-long learning. The events are also planned with suggestions from the Riverside Parent Group.

The first Riverside Coffee House for the 2018-19 school year will focus on the new “Teaching Kindness” anti-bullying advisory program introduced last year. Recognizing that supportive community development is an essential part of character development and moral maturity, the school has begun to expand upon the elements of its Advisory Program to include new teaching and learning experiences that deal with issues of bullying, teasing, exclusion, and the importance of personal space.

The purpose of the Advisory Program at The Riverside School is to integrate the diverse elements of Riverside’s program by teaching personal responsibility by facilitating the building of practicing problem solving, supportive community, and collaboration.

With the assistance of Ellen Moore LCMHC, a clinical therapist, the Teaching Kindness advisory program trains and and utilizes the leadership of Riverside’s 7th and 8th graders to mentor and talk with younger elementary students.

Now in its second year, the program provides time for 7th and 8th graders to work on three lessons that are age appropriate. The lesson topics for this year are: what is bullying; what does it mean to be unkind; how does one define inclusive and exclusive behaviors (in and outside the classroom); and what can a student do when someone is unkind to them (instilling a sense of self respect and empowerment to stop the behavior).

The 7th and 8th grade students divide themselves into groups and adopt a lower-grade class (i.e., one group works with Kindergarten, first grade, etc.). The older students plan age appropriate lessons and use age appropriate language when they visit younger classrooms. Essentially, the 7th and 8th grade students are mentoring the younger students.

“The Teaching Kindness program does not embrace any one definition of bullying but embraces kindness and what it means to be “unkind,” said Michelle Ralston, Head of School. “Riverside believes that it “takes a village” and the entire school community to teach kind behavior. I am excited to welcome parents to learn more about our Teaching Kindness program.” 

The event will take place on Thursday, November 15th from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Barn at The Riverside School on Lily Pond Road in Lyndonville. The discussion will include: an update for parents on how the program has progressed; a demonstration of a lesson via a skit by the 7th and 8th graders; opportunities for attendees to discuss their own childhood experiences with bullies, and discuss how to respond now as parents; Ellen Moore will offer helpful Tools for Parents, and the evening will end with a Q&A session.

The event is free and refreshments and childcare will be available.

 Riverside School 8th graders Alexa Counter of Barnet, Kaelen Glentz Brush of Kirby, and Laela Kane of Peacham discuss positive traits of leadership during 8th Grade Day at Riverside before the start of the school year.

Riverside School 8th graders Alexa Counter of Barnet, Kaelen Glentz Brush of Kirby, and Laela Kane of Peacham discuss positive traits of leadership during 8th Grade Day at Riverside before the start of the school year.