’s KV K’NEX bullying prevention program and its advisors were recently presented with the Hero Award from the Truman Pierce Institute at Auburn University for their efforts to prevent bullying and educate students about the issue.
Keith Valley Middle School physical education teacher and KV K’NEX Committee member Ashley Kelly accepted the award on behalf of the school at the Anti-Bullying Summit, which was held earlier this month in Fairhope, Ala. The school's K’NEX program and its advisors were nominated during the 2011-12 school year by Keith Valley Middle School sixth-grade mathematics teacher and KV K’NEX Committee member Katie Drabold.
Keith Valley Middle School, along with three other organizations, schools and universities from across the United States, were notified June 20 that they were award recipients. The Hero Award recognizes schools and organizations for their anti-bullying education programs, victim intervention efforts, anti-bullying enforcement policies, behavior modification programs and much more.
“This award reminds us that repairing harm and building relationships is the most vital component of any program designed to engender a positive learning environment that is not conducive to bullying behavior,” KV K’NEX Committee member Kathleen Anne Finney said in a press release.
KV K’NEX began in 2009 with the goal of helping staff and students develop authentic relationships that strengthen personal bonds and foster a sense of community. The multi-faceted program encompasses ongoing best practices in the areas of bullying prevention, restorative practices and character education. These activities include cross-grade advisory meetings, group discussions, assemblies and community outreach endeavors.
“Our goal is to connect these programs into a unified, consistent and inclusive pro-social program that help all students feel safe, respected and significant,” KV K’NEX Committee member Andrew Osborne explained.
Since the inception of the program and implementation of an anonymous reporting system, educators and administers noted there has been a significant decrease in disciplinary referrals related to bullying behavior.
“The Hero Award is acknowledgment that our teachers, students, staff and district administration continue to strive to make our school a place that is not only academic excellent, but where taking personal responsibility and doing the right thing is a way of life,” Keith Valley Middle School Principal Jonathan Kircher said in a press release.
In addition to its Hero Award, the program was also recently given the National Exemplary Program Recognition at the National Conference on Bullying in Orlando, Fla.