Over the course of two weeks, fourth and fifth graders took on the roles of writers, directors, producers and actors to create antibullying public service announcements. The students premiered their videos in the auditorium before an audience of peers and teachers on March 6.
Using professional-quality camera equipment, the students modeled a movie set to fulfill their chosen jobs, under the guidance of Mike Feurstein, a filmmaker, educator and Don’t Wait to UnMake a Bully program creator. Fourth graders participated in the Don’t Wait to UnMake a Bully project, while fifth graders participated in Don’t Wait to Unmake the Mediasphere, which focused on issues around social media.
During the premiere, the students – who created the PSAs based on their own experiences – discussed the lessons they had learned throughout the process.
“Many students walked away with messages about standing up for yourself, standing up for others and apologizing when you make a mistake,” Principal Tricia Murray said. “This program offers an innovative way to engage students in antibullying conversations, which resulted in a very high level of student engagement. The students found the process meaningful and were able to describe how it has helped them with similar situations since the filming of the PSAs.”
The students’ work with the Don’t Wait project was generously supported through a grant from the Bronxville School Foundation. Due to the program’s success with fourth graders last year, it was expanded to include fifth graders this year.