Photo courtesy of the San Mateo County Office of Education
In 2012, Madeline Dei Rossi, a sixth grader at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, in blue and holding award, poses with her family and County Superintendent Anne Campbell after winning the competition to create the RESPECT 24/7 logo.
Promoting anti-bullying is the focus of a monthly program put on by the San Mateo County Office of Education and the San Mateo County Library.
This is the second year of the civility initiative called RESPECT! 24/7. In recognition of October as National Bullying Awareness month, San Mateo County declared October as RESPECT! 24/7 month, as part of a two-year initiative.
October will culminate with an appearance of best-selling author Heather Brewer, in conversation about bullying. Brewer is the author of “Chronicles of Vladimir Tod,” “The Slayer Chronicles” and “The Legacy of Tril” series. She is also the organizer of Less Than Three, a young adult literature and anti-bullying conference.
“The big event is Heather Brewer, who is really popular with teen readers for her vampire series, and is active in anti-bullying campaign,” said Anna Koch, San Mateo County library services manager. “She’s going to address the audience and hopefully have a panel of some kids as well to talk about bullying — what it is and what you can do to prevent it in your personal life.”
The initiative is aimed at reducing incidents of bullying and empowering children and youth to exhibit leadership on this issue. It also encourages families and communities to prioritize respect and civility and to engage in a deeper conversation about civil behavior and acceptable norms for a caring community.
What else is new this year?
The group Parents Place on the Peninsula will conduct bully prevention workshops at the Portola Valley Library, Belmont Library and Pacifica-Sanchez Library. The Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center is facilitating screenings of the documentary “Bully” at libraries in Belmont, East Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay and Pacifica.
The topic of being an upstander, a person who knows what’s happening is wrong and does something to make things right, as opposed to a bystander, will be discussed as well.
“She’s incredibly entertaining, but she can also speak to youth about bullying because she has a lot of personal experience with it,” Koch said.
Nancy Magee, administrator for board support and community relations for the San Mateo County Office of Education, will also host a staff anti-bullying training conference Oct. 21 to provide further information and training.
“It’s programming that I think is worth providing and supporting,” Koch said.
Upcoming bully prevention workshops will run 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Belmont Library and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Pacifica-Sanchez Library.
The last remaining screening of the “Bully” movie will be 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Belmont Library.
The Heather Brewer author program is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Foster City Library.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105