By Debra Chasnoff, President/Senior Producer | Let's Get Real, Respect For All Project
To start the new school year, GroundSpark is partnering with the Human Rights Campaign‘s “Welcoming Schools” project to help parents and guardians use award-winning anti-bullying films at their children’s schools!
Featuring GroundSpark’s acclaimed half hour documentary, Let’s Get Real, plus Welcoming Schools’ short, What Can We Do? Bias, Bullying, and Bystanders, our comprehensive new screening kit is a way for parents and guardians to come together to talk with school staff about promoting respect, supporting diversity, and cultivating ally behavior.
“Addressing bias-based bullying takes a whole-school approach, including PTO’s, PTA’s, and parents/guardians,” said Johanna Eager, Welcoming Schools Director. “As such, we are excited to partner with GroundSpark to provide a much-needed resource for any parent to organize an event to engage thoughtful discussion centered on creating safe and welcoming schools for all students and families in the school community.”
Through this partnership we’re able to provide a free second film with the purchase of Let’s Get Real, plus a special event planning guide and screening facilitation materials to support parents wanting to launch into dialogue about the dynamics at their own child’s school. Ideally, parents would work with their PTA to schedule screenings and discussion for the adults in their school communities, about how to best support the school staff’s work with students.
“We strongly believe that parents and guardians are the third leg of the stool that must be engaged in order to have a safe school learning environment,” says GroundSpark president and film director Debra Chasnoff. “This program and partnership with Welcoming Schools will help strengthen any school’s work with staff and students. We’ve made it very easy for any group of parents to turn their interest and concern into action.”
Part of GroundSpark’s Respect for All Project, Let’s Get Real gives young people the chance to tell their stories in their own words and includes an accompanying teaching guide which encourages schools to address important questions, including how bullying intersects with factors like race, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, economic status, religion, country of origin, and physical or learning abilities. Meanwhile, Welcoming Schools’ What Can We Do? short shows teachers engaging elementary school students in conversations about bullying and bias.
PTOs, PTAs, after-school programs and community youth groups are all invited to be a part of this national effort to open up discussion and take action to prevent bias-related bullying at school.
Learn more about the campaign and how to get involved here!