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LVTI Begins Anti-bullying Program

LVTI Begins Anti-bullying Program

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Published by Laura Maas

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Published by: Laura Maas on Jun 17, 2010
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06/17/2010

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Last modified: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 12:04 AM EDT
LVTI begins anti-bullying program
By Laura Paine/The Daily ItemLYNN-Lynn Vocational Technical Institute is welcomingThe Kick-Off Transition Program into their classroomsand hallways in an effort to make incoming freshmanmore comfortable in their new school.The program is a comprehensive transition, orientationand mentoring program which trains upper-classmentors to run an interactive orientation day on the firstday of school, which is geared towards creating a positive, year-long connection between upperclassmenand incoming students.“There has been a lot of research about kids who have positive relationships within their school are much morelikely to stay in school and graduate and not participatein bullying and to be a more positive school communitymember,” teacher Johanna Smith said. “We would like to foster more relationships between our freshmen and our upper classmen. We are hoping it will improve our school climate; we are interestingin decreasing incidents of bullying.”Smith said she spoke with representatives at North East Technical High School in Wakefield, where the program has been successful. It has been implemented in suburban, rural and inner city schools all over the country and has reached approximately 100,000 kids. For the first year, students were hand pickedto become mentors, but this method may be changed in the future.“We are hoping as the program grows in coming years we can have kids apply,” Smith said. “This firstyear we wanted to make sure they were going to be positive role models. It wasn’t necessarilyimportant they have a 4.0, but that they are in school everyday, they are outgoing, good listeners andthey are going to be good role models for the new freshmen.”Fifty juniors and seniors went through training to learn about goals for the program, legal and ethicalissues involved in mentoring and rehearsed activities for the Kick-Off Orientation Day which Smithsaid would be held on the first day of school in September.Each student mentor will be teamed up with five incoming freshmen, who they will meet with twice amonth to check in with them. Smith said it will be helpful for freshmen to have peers who notice andcare when they are absent or seem to be having trouble, or simply to show them the ropes of LVTI.“We see so many kids who are depressed and if they had another kid to reach out to them, they are waymore likely to stay in school and be positive members of our school community,” she said.The program promotes school safety and creates positive and meaningful connections for everyincoming student and opens up the lines of communication that make new students feel morecomfortable and, according to program organizers, has proven to reduce bullying and violence inFrom left, Giovannni Rodriguez, StevenMcMullen, and Emily Aguilar, anti-bullying program at Lynn Tech, Friday, June 11 2010.ITEM PHOTO / OWEN O'ROURKE

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