Be a good friend, encourage, listen, initiate, empathize, value and excel; these are the morals students of the “Everybody’s Business” learning community taught West Jefferson Elementary School students as a part of the B.E.L.I.E.V.E. project.
The B.E.L.I.E.V.E. project is a part of the Leadership is Everybody’s Business course taught by Senior Adviser of the College of Business and Economics, Eric Roche.
“This course is an opportunity for students to learn and practice effective principles of leadership that can be valuable when applied to service leadership and professional pursuits in the business world,” Roche said.
The project was incorporated into the West Jefferson Elementary School “Bully Prevention Program.” Roche said students were required to assist in creating activities, present information to parents and work with the elementary students.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, almost half of all children will experience bullying sometime during their primary or secondary school education, and 10 percent of children are bullied regularly.
Freshmen Lydia Lobrano, Ashley Platow, Courtney Gundlach and Rebecca Dittbrner participated in the program.
Gundlach, Dittbrner and Platow assisted in development and performance of the skits that were organized for the elementary students. The plays illustrated morals related to bullying issues.
Lobrano gave the elementary students a tour of the campus. Roche said the goal of giving the elementary students a tour of the campus was to give them an understanding of education and their future.
Roche said it gave students an opportunity to consider the importance of friends and teachers in their educational future.
“The goal of the visits is to help students understand the purpse and importance of college as it relates to education and their future,” Roche said.
The students had to work with the children and their parents. Pamphlets were designed by the college students to give to parents. The pamphlets included a short comic story, a word search and a drawing activity related to informing both students and parents about bullying.
Gundlach, Dittbrner, Platow and Labrano agreed the experience prepared them for careers in business. They said it gave them interpersonal skills essential for working in the business field.