Upper Pittsgrove Elementary School the Recipient of Rainbow Rabbit’s Anti Bullying Program
Last October, team Rainbow Rabbit wanted to give back during National Bullying Prevention Month by providing a school the chance to win their anti bullying program.
The winning school was Upper Pittsgrove Elementary School in Monroeville, New Jersey. And after the team personally visited the school to deliver their anti bullying program, it was obvious that there couldn’t have been a more perfect learning institution to receive the honor.
The classroom students at Upper Pittsgrove using the program are on the autism spectrum. They earn scoops of popcorn during the day for “Team Work.” When students work hard together (cleaning up nicely in the cafeteria or sharing and helping a friend) they earn a scoop of popcorn for the “Team Work” jar. When the jar is filled to the top, they earn a party and get to pick what kind of party they’d like to have. This usually consists of treats, pizza, ice cream or a movie. Recently, however, the students asked to earn a Rainbow Rabbit stuffed animal for the classroom, for one of their recent jar fillings.
An essay was submitted in regards to why the school should win the program. Their inspiring story, provided by Maria Martin, Instructional Assistant Upper Pittsgrove ASD Program, Salem County Special Services School District, is what ultimately won them the program.
“Joe Vallee and Shirley Vallee (Rainbow Rabbit program founders) jumped right in and gave each one of our students individual attention to their needs,” said Martin. “They really had a way of making our children feel comfortable! Our children, who are sometimes shy about new people, were very receptive to them, and enjoyed learning about their program very much! The students were overly excited when they found out they were getting their very own Rainbow Rabbit stuffed animal for our classroom! The children decided they would like to take turns taking Rainbow Rabbit home on the weekends, and write a journal entry about how the Rabbit spent his weekend with them. I would highly recommend this anti bullying program for both general education students, as well as students with special needs.”
Jane Whittinghill, EdD, MA CCC-SLP Director of Related Services and Principal SCSSSD Upper Pittsgrove ASD Program, Salem County Special Services School District, also attended the presentation and echoed Martin’s sentiments.
“I have just recently been introduced to the Rainbow Rabbit anti-bullying curriculum and have been very impressed with the easy to follow and thorough lesson plans,” said Whittinghill. “Since I work with children with varying degrees of disability, it is often difficult to find materials that are appropriate for them, and this program is easily adaptable for all students—including those with special needs.
The story of Rainbow Rabbit is engaging for the students and effortlessly leads to excellent discussion points about the various aspects and effects of bullying. Our school was lucky enough to have a presentation by the Rainbow Rabbit Team. The team was very in tune with our students on the autism spectrum, and quickly adapted to their sometimes off-topic conversations and statements.”
In fact, all of the students behaved so well and took a liking to Rainbow Rabbit that they’re each receiving their own Rainbow Rabbit for Christmas.
On behalf of Rainbow Rabbit, we’d like to thank Upper Pittsgrove Elementary School, for having such wonderful students, and giving our team the opportunity to have his lessons of kindness and caring taught at your school. We do what we do each day because you inspire us. We will definitely come back and visit soon!
Check out our photo gallery of the day!