May 17th, 2019
In today’s social media driven world, too many of our students are constantly exposed to divisiveness and negativity, and it is affecting how they treat themselves and each other.
Below is our Bridg-it newsletter. Throughout the year, we will use this newsletter to highlight different topics, organizations, and individuals that promote the power of positive communication and kindness. We will also review restorative social and emotional learning materials from the Bridg-it Resource Center that are designed to support and connect our students.
Our featured story in this issue focuses on an elementary school in Florida whose leaders are building a positive school culture and climate using the power of student kindness.
Bridg-it School of the Week
Orange Brook Elementary School
Broward County, Florida
Eight weeks ago, members of Bridg-it’s implementation team met with Principal Devon O'Neal and his leadership team at Orange Brook Elementary School to train them on using the Bridg-it School Safety and Wellness Platform and App. After 30 minutes of administrative training and demonstration of the platforms culture building features, Principal O’Neal and his team were given usernames and passwords and immediately started giving Shout Outs and Wins to each other. The following day all teachers and staff were given usernames and passwords and went through a short training on how to use the app and access the thousands of restorative resources available in Bridg-it’s Resource Center. A week later the students in grades 1 through 5 were launched, giving them the ability to practice positive digital communication every day.
Orange Brook Elementary School students and teachers set a Bridg-it record for kindness and praise, generating over 18,410 Shout Outs and Wins since first launching Bridg-it 8 weeks ago.
Harnessing the power of positive signals, and broadcasting messages of support
Talking with the students about positivity and acts of kindness: I had the opportunity this week to meet with members of Orange Brook’s leadership team and visit with two classes of students, 5th graders and 3rd graders. I asked the students what they liked best about the Bridg-it App. They said that their favorite part was giving Shout Outs and Wins to each other and their teachers. I then asked why that was, and they said giving and receiving Shout Outs makes them feel good about themselves and others. It also made the students feel more connected to their friends. What I and the rest of the Bridg-it team truly love is that these positive feelings are all due to student-initiated kindness and connectedness. The students are working together to acknowledge one another, creating positive interpersonal connections.
The school’s leadership team has set aside time each day, in homeroom, for the students to turn on their computers and post their shout outs and wins for the day, starting the day off with positive posts and messages. Importantly, the students are practicing positive digital communication as a cohesive group, discussing their shout outs and wins as they post them.
Bridg-it School Featured Resource
Be in the Know: Responding to Traumatic Events
This Bridg-it playbook is designed as a resource for teachers, administrators and parents in times of need. Bridg-it designed the Be in the Know playbook to help put information and resources at your fingertips to help you deal with the some of the most challenging of situations you may face. Whether a child directly experiences a traumatic event, or they are repeatedly exposed to media after the fact, children and adolescents are more vulnerable to being traumatized than adults. This playbook gives you the knowledge and resources to identify the signs of trauma in students, and work with the student to help overcome them.
If you like what we have written, we ask that you please share it with others who believe as we do that creating a safe and positive school culture is the first step to student success.
We at Bridg-it are committed to helping school leaders promote healthy student relationships, positive school culture and safe learning environment.
For more information on Bridg-it’s powerful digital toolkit for creating and maintaining positive school culture, please click here.
Founder and CEO of Bridg-it