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Students at PS 58 Stand Up To Bullying

Public schools are putting the spotlight on respect for diversity this week.

According to The NYC Department of Education, February 13-17 has been designated as 'Respect For All Week' in all NYC public schools. During this week, schools take the opportunity to highlight ongoing diversity programs and open up a dialogue through curriculum-based instruction, engaging students in lessons and activities that focus on preventing bias-based harassment, intimidation or bullying.

At , located at 330 Smith Street between First Place and Carroll Street, fifth graders had the opportunity to meet with Councilmember Brad Lander, who kicked off the week by reading "Nobody Knew What To Do," a story about bullying. Afterward, the children then discussed their feelings about respecting differences.

"The fifth graders at PS 58 in Carroll Gardens [and the students at PS 124 in Park Slope] are standing up against bullying, and are working to make their classrooms, playgrounds, and neighborhood into a place where everyone is respected, across all the lines of difference that make Brooklyn a great place," said Coulcilmember Lander. "I was honored to have a chance to talk with them as part of 'Respect for All' week in NYC. They are a great example for all of us."

With recent reports of outside of other neighborhood schools, the anti-bullying curriculum couldn't come at a better time.

Other activities that have taken place at PS 58 include the 'planting' of a paper 'tree of kindness' in the lower lobby. Teachers will be speak to children about committing Random Acts of Kindness—or unsolicited act of sharing, caring or showing kindness for another. Each time a Random Act of Kindness is observed, it will be rewarded with an apple or leaf placed on the tree.  

The PTA has also purchased a social-emotional program from non-profit Second Step to be slowly integrated into class curriculum by teachers throughout the rest of the year.

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