High School Heroes Empower Younger Students

Members of the Glen Cove High School Hero Club recently visited with fifth graders at Connolly and Landing elementary schools to speak about middle school life and make next year’s transition a positive and empowering experience. Led by advisor Vicki Gordon, the Hero Club provided tips and “tools” on how to handle and avoid potential bullying situations.

Club members showed a short YouTube video created by the band Going Dark who perform a song “Stand Up” that was written to raise awareness about bullying following an incident involving a bus monitor who was bullied by middle school students in upstate New York back in 2012. (The incident was documented through a video that went viral). They also held a Q &A discussion, role played situations, and conducted games to help the Connolly and Landing students identify different types of bullying, including who gets bullied, who does the bullying, and what they can do to prevent it.

During one exercise, every fifth grader received a card containing a written message of a different bullying characteristic or phrase. After the different types of bullying were discussed, Hero Club members performed skits and the younger students were asked to flash the card that best describes the action demonstrated in the skit or the resulting emotion. The Connolly and Landing students also wrote offensive or hurtful words that have been said to them in the past on the back of the cards before crumbling each one into a ball and emphatically throwing it in the trash as a symbolic gesture. They also took the “Hero Club Pledge” and were given materials to help guide them in the future.
“Hero Club officers, Daniela Hugel, Dana Maderakis, and Arianna Puca felt that this was not only a great opportunity, but a great responsibility as well, and planned, organized and worked very hard on the presentations,” said Ms. Gordon. “They all really enjoyed working with their school community and seeing their fifth-grade teachers again. It was a fun and valuable experience for all and I am very proud of them!"

Photography students Julia Pinto and Kasandra Papa (from Melissa Johnides’s class) accompanied the club to capture all the wonderful moments shared by all.