Lift up – don’t tear down. That was the message this week at our Lewis & Clark Middle School Community Learning Center as anti-bullying and social media awareness kicked into high gear.
The #UPLift Project is the idea of Civic Nebraska’s CLC Site Director Tracy White and Sherrie Brownfield, who teaches physical and health education. Both learned of student concerns over the summer. White and Brownfield began looking at ways to meaningfully combat social media bullying’s proliferation.
After several weeks of discussion, #UPLift kicked off Oct. 21 at school-based Community Learning Center, 6901 Burt St. in Omaha.
“The goal is of course to deter bullying, but it is also to advocate for those who have been bullied,” Tracy said. “As a CLC that focuses on social-emotional learning, we are uniquely positioned to address it.”
During the launch, Lisa López of the Set Me Free Project, which educates on the importance of social media safety and human dignity, led an exercise to demonstrate bullying’s impact.
Students will lead #UPLift. Among other initiatives, they will help build a mobile phone app that informs about bullying and taking appropriate action against unwanted social-media interactions. Also, they’ll produce public-service announcements for the school. And they’ll create a poster series to promote positive self-image and being smart on social media.
The Lewis & Clark community fully supports the campaign. School administrators, teachers, and staff attended the kickoff.
“We’re grateful for the time and attention everyone has given this project,” Tracy said. “It takes everyone to make a difference.”