The “Power of One” is Powerful

By John Anderson

On Wednesday, the 4th and 5th grade classes at Julia Bancroft got a look at bullying from a different perspective. Two actors from Soren Bennick presented a series of skits as part of “The Power of One”. This program is performed internationally and has impacted over 2 million children with the anti-bullying message.

Actors Topher Wilson and Latisha Di Venuto explained the bullying roles: Bully, Target and Bystander. They also demonstrated Physical, Verbal, Exclusion and Cyber bullying in short skits. Phrases like “Catch ya later loser.” and “You’re not invited.” were part of the script. Judging from some of the excellent answers given by these young students to the actors’ questions, this was not their first lesson on bullying.

The two messages that stood out were that the target should report the incident to an adult and that the bystander must also act and not ignore what he sees. This was demonstrated in an impromptu scene utilizing 5 students. Emily Adamiak was the target; Matthew Crossman played the bully; Jillian Stelmach portrayed the bystander who encouraged bullying; Dominic Chivallatti was the bystander who “didn’t see anything”; and Anthony Mattress was the bystander who saw everything. Several scenarios were played out, and when 5th grade teacher Jennifer DiMeglio joined the production; the responsible adult was present for the kids to report to.

The last skit involved student Grace Stannard who transformed into a “superhero” and lifted a heavy box to reveal the answer to bullying. When she looked into the small box, there was a mirror and she saw herself, the “Power of One”. The students then took the “Bully Prevention Oath” and a poster was left behind for all the students to sign. A performance for the 3rd grade students followed.

This was a powerful presentation that certainly left an impact on the students. Principal Susan Lopez concluded by telling her students, “You can make the difference”, and with respect bullying, “No one should feel that way”.