News By Tag
News By Location
Announcing Theatre of Peace 2018 Youth Company - Now Offering Anti-Bullying Assemblies
Act Like You Matter expands the offerings of Theatre of Peace: Youth Bullying Awareness Acting Troupe to include student-led assemblies for San Diego County schools
"By offering assemblies in addition to small group workshops, we will be able to work with larger schools, including more middle and high schools in San Diego County," said Act Like You Matter's Founder and President Amy Jones Anichini. "It's no secret that schools, PTO's, and Foundations have limited funds to devote to anti-bullying, SEL, and character-development programs; they want the most impact for their students at the lowest cost possible. I'm thrilled that Act Like You Matter and TOP can now serve those needs."
Ms. Anichini went on to explain why she spent years developing the assembly version of the company's anti-bullying content. "Anti-bullying assemblies, as opposed to smaller group workshops, have been criticized for not bringing about real changes in school climate. They're viewed by some as one-hour-long experiences as opposed to being part of a longer-term set of solutions to address bullying on school campuses. Therefore, we invested the time to design our assemblies as a full package with worksheets and action steps for students as well as guidance documents for teachers to help students master the tools and strategies we presented and reinforce what we taught."
The Key to Impactful Anti-Bullying Programs: Have Students Deliver Them
Another reason students in the audience are likely to pay attention and digest what's being taught in Act Like You Matter's assemblies is that they are run entirely by students ages 11-21 from TOP. Each TOP actor has had experience with bullying: some targets, some bystanders, and even some bullies. They draw on those experiences to make sure that all programs are current, believable, and relevant to kids their age and younger.
"I joined TOP because I really believe that anti-bullying programs at schools should be run by students instead of adults," said Josh, a high school freshman who's starting his third year with TOP. "Students in the audience need to be able to relate to the person who's running it. If you have something in common with them, like, they're close to your age, you're more likely to listen."
Stephen, a senior who's also starting his third year with TOP, added, "When teenagers are watching an assembly, the language on stage has to be the way teenagers really talk to each other, otherwise it's just not relatable. That's why what we're doing at TOP is so important: we help come up with the bullying scenarios and solutions we perform, and we give feedback on the dialogue, so it's believable."
"What I think makes our programs so effective is that we share ideas about what you can do if someone bullies you or if you see someone being bullied," said Jordan, a senior who's starting her fifth year with TOP. "So many assembly speakers simply tell their stories about being bullied and how it affected them. And while that's interesting, it doesn't teach students how to intervene or help out. In our programs, we're focused on solutions; we demonstrate lots of different ways to help someone who's being bullied."
Bella, who has just finished her first year with TOP and is the troupe's youngest actor said, "I joined TOP because I didn't want other kids to go through what I went through. When I go to schools with TOP, I get to help other kids who've been bullied know they're not alone, and there are lots of things they can do to get the bullying to stop."
Through interactive performances, small group workshops, and, now, assemblies, Act Like You Matter and TOP look forward to another year of working with students at San Diego County schools.
ABOUT ACT LIKE YOU MATTER & THEATRE OF PEACE
Act Like You Matter is a California non-profit that seeks to promote the well-being of children, tweens, and teens so that each child feels accepted and free to be themselves without being bullied. Theatre of Peace, a division of Act Like You Matter, runs anti-bullying programs for K-12 in San Diego County that are custom-designed, solution-driven, and student-led:
To learn more about Act Like You Matter and their programs, please visit the website: http://www.actlikeyoumatter.org/
To learn more about Theatre of Peace and view a higher-quality jpg of the 2018 Company, please follow this link: http://www.actlikeyoumatter.org/
Amy Jones Anichini (Founder, Act Like You Matter)
(Executive Director & Author, Theatre of Peace)