Random Acts of Kindness Week is February 11-17, 2024

  Although Random Acts of Kindness week will be celebrated next week, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has provided a calendar for the 2023-2024 school year; that's 365 ideas of ways to spread kindness. They also provide a variety of resources for spreading kindness at school, at home, and at work, including a 2024 calendar for adults to spread kindness at work throughout the year.  Additionally, the Social Emotional Learning and Restorative Practices department has compiled a Random Acts of Kindness resource folder that includes lesson plans, kindness activities, announcements, book lists, and more.  Join the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation in their effort to make kindness the norm, not just next week, but all year long! 

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

October was first declared National Bullying Prevention Month in 2006 to prevent childhood bullying and promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.    The US Department of Health and Human Services defines bullying as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying can be verbal, social, physical, or cyber and can lead to school avoidance, loss of self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression.  The National Child Traumatic Stress Network reports that 1 in 5 high school students are bullied in the United States. The NCTSN also provides facts on the relationship between trauma and bullying indicating the importance of addressing both bullying and trauma.   October 2, 2023, is World Day of Bullying Prevention!  Stomp Out Bullying encourages us to join in solidarity to stop bullying and cyberbullying by wearing blue that day and throughout the mon

September is National Suicide Prevention Month

This month, we want to take time to remember those who have lost their lives to suicide, those who have struggled with suicidal ideation, and acknowledge all of those who have been impacted.  Why is this work important? According to the CDC, in 2021, there were 48,183 deaths by suicide in the United States, which is equivalent to 1 death every 11 minutes. 1.7 million adults attempted suicide. In 2021, the suicide rate among males was approximately four times higher than the rate among females. Males make up 50% of the population but nearly 80% of suicides. In North Carolina, suicide is the second leading cause of death in ages 10-18. There was a 94% increase in youth suicide from 2011-2020.  Suicide can be prevented by recognizing signs, learning how to help, and taking steps to help those in need. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Student Services Department has a district protocol to respond to and manage suicide risk.   Firearms are the most common method used, at more than 50%,