Program seeks to help children deal with bullying

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Freshman Academy student Anessa Garcia talks to a group of third and fourth-graders about bullying during sessions Tuesday at Lockwood Elementary School.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

They remember what it was like to be a fourth grader.

Kids were cool and adults weren’t.

When they had a problem, it was difficult to tell an adult.

Students in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Clovis chapter decided to talk to kids about bullying so they would have a kid to talk to.

Austin Miller and Taya Leeder are leading the project.

The curriculum, called Bullying Hurts, was started by rodeo clown Marvin Nash. Miller, Leeder and 44 FCCLA members were trained in the program so they could train students how to deal with bullies.

The group visited Lockwood Elementary School’s after school program Tuesday. The program includes a video a Nash talking to the children on ways to deal with bullies and a workbook for the students to fill out.

Miller, Leeder, Anessa Garcia, and Trey Trotter sat with groups of students asking them what they should do if they are bullied, how it makes them feel and where bullying happens.

“The kids are taking it well,” Miller said. “We were worried about if they’d listen but when you talk to them personally, they talk to you.”

Miller and Leeder said they made the process more personal.

“I remember being little,” Leeder said. “Kids were cool.”

Miller said because they aren’t adults, the students feel more comfortable talking to them.

“I think it’s easier for them to talk to us because we get on their level,” Miller said. “They kinda get the feeling that you’re on their side.”

Leslie Weaver, a special education teacher at Lockwood, said the bullying program is helpful because it gives the children awareness about bullying.

“It provides them with open discussion,” Weaver said. “Especially with older kids.”

The group will be at the Arts Academy at Bella Vista on Thursday during the after school program.