Worldwide

What are other schools doing worldwide with B.I.O.N.I.C.? B.I.O.N.I.C. Teams in elementary schools look different than high schools, and middle schools run things differently than college. B.I.O.N.I.C. Teams in different communities look different in order to be more culturally relevant in their part of the world. Below you will see information on different schools throughout the world that have started B.I.O.N.I.C Teams. If you have a B.I.O.N.I.C. Team, please answer the following questions to let us know how you are impacting your school and community.

1 – Why and how you started your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team and # of students in your group
2 – Which teams do you have and the types of outreaches
3 – Highlights of what you’ve done
4 – Challenges you’ve faced
5 – How you’ve changed the climate of your school to a more caring atmosphere
6 – How your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team students have been impacted personally as they’ve reached out to others

11 thoughts on “Worldwide

  1. Del Norte High School – Del Norte, Colorado – Janae Naranjo, Counselor
    1. Why and how you started your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team and # of kids in your group-
    I started a B.I.O.N.I.C. group at DNHS after attending your workshop at the Colorado School Counselor Association state conference. It was my first year as a school counselor and you really inspired me. Your statement of how most view today’s youth in a negative light struck a nerve with me. We have so many positive things happening with youth and it is nice to spotlight those. Plus, my BS degree is in Social Work so I really appreciated a service organization within the school system. After I returned from the conference I approached a teacher with the idea and she was a “doer”. We required all members of her career education class to participate from January 2007-May of 2007. Word spread about the organizations and before long I had 20 members wanting (not required) to be in the group. These members are awesome! They keep the group going!
    2. Which teams do you have and the types of outreaches?
    Our teams include:
    New Student Team
    Extended Illness Team
    Hospitalization Team
    Loss Team
    Community Outreach Team
    • We have tried different things with teams and are still working a workable system for our school. We are a small HS of
    160 students so I am not sure the team system works for us. The extended illness and hospitalization teams lose interest due to no activity. Most members just do whatever is asked and jump at the opportunity to serve in whatever manner. The Marfan fundraiser was done as a kickoff to our organization after I returned from maternity leave in January. Del Norte student has Marfan Syndrome and February was National Marfan awareness month.
    3. Highlights of what you’ve done
    • We have made goody bags for all Custer County High School students when a fellow student was killed in a freak accident during their homecoming parade.
    • Outreach to students and staff who lost a family member
    • New student tours, welcoming.
    • Outreach to La Jara when a student committed suicide.
    • Outreach to Monte Vista when a staff member died in the classroom of a stroke.
    • Game Night- this is our fundraiser. We have members bring in their gaming units (X-box, Dance Dance Revolution, Karaoke) and even card and board games. Each individual classroom has a game in it. We invite the student body to join us for the evening, charge a cover charge, sell pizza and have a great time! Students who normal do not join school events show up. You have girls battling guys, “jocks” versus “nerds.” It is really a time where your status and labels are not seen. However, we will have to think of something different to do next year. One of the gaming units was almost broke and that would have defended the fund raiser!
    • Next year I plan on organizing quarterly community service projects for members to participate in to have more consistency.
    4. Challenges you’ve faced
    Being a small school everyone is stretched to the limit. Being the only sponsor I often “miss” opportunities to organize members to serve. Especially during CSAP time since I am the SAC.
    Keeping consistent activities to maintain the enthusiasm about serving others. I have not found a good way to have consistent meetings. We are still in the developing stage.
    5. How you’ve changed the climate of your school to a more caring atmosphere.
    The youth are really amazing. They often bring ideas and ways to serve to me. They want to make a difference and do think about others. I thing the youth are able to see that they can make a difference and often the “little things” make a big difference. They are more mindful of personal circumstances that are affecting every individual within the school and how that in turns affects the school climate.
    6. How your students have been impacted personally as they’ve reached out to others
    I hope they are seeing that outreach often comes with no tangible rewards but instead the intangible rewards. Those are the ones in your own heart and soul. In knowing you did something for someone else.

  2. Morris Sunset East HS – Las Vegas, Nevada – Jessica Festa, Counselor
    1. Why and how you started your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team
    I work at an alternative high school that holds classes in the evening. Because we are an alternative school, we do not have a sports program or any other extracurricular activities that tend to rally students around their school and build school spirit (maybe building community is a better description). I had been wanting a way to get students involved in something school related while at the same time creating a peer group that could motivate and encourage school spirit within the school. Creating a BIONIC Team seemed just the answer.
    I just completed my second year with a BIONIC Team; we have had between 20 and 30 students on the team.
    Because my staff is small, I have a bit of freedom to be creative with my counseling program, so I basically just informed my principal that I would be starting this Team. 🙂 I decided the best way was to have students apply. Part of the application is teacher comments and a grade check. But, really, I don’t turn anyone away. I just want to make sure that students are really interested in being a part of the group.
    2 – Which teams do you have and the types of outreaches?
    At the beginning of the year, I ask the students what they think our school needs, and what are some ways they want to be involved. With their responses, and keeping in mind that one of the goals of the BIONIC Team for our school is to build school spirit (and care for one another with that), one of the teams (I call them committees) that has been consistent is the social activities committee. They helped plan a dance, a BBQ, and other small events throughout each year. These activities have not been part of our school for more than a decade, if at all in the past. Another committee is the outreach committee. They organize a canned food drive, and have hosted a couple of fundraisers. It’s always interesting to me that my students, who are so needy themselves, want to do drives and/or raise money. One time this year we gave some of the money to one of our school’s teen moms who could not afford to buy her son a Christmas gift. This is what I would like us to do more. The first year I had a couple of students who were very interested in starting a recycling program. Their efforts have continued through this past year, and now we have a consistent recycling program that involves the school that runs in our building during the day. The first year there were two committees that overlapped, so this past year, we combined them to make a fourth committee–the appreciation committee. This group took off this last year with different ways to show appreciation to our teachers. This is another need that our school has. All of our teachers are part-time (they work at day schools fulltime, then come to our school as a 2nd job). It’s easy to see that our teachers can get burned out, so this group worked hard throughout the year to drop the teachers little notes of appreciation.
    3 – Highlights of what you’ve done
    I might have touched on this answering the last question, but our BIONIC Team has been able to create opportunities for students that did not previously exist at our school–like a school dance!
    4 – Challenges you’ve faced
    My students have busy lives–many of them are teen parents, and/or work 40 hours per week. Plus, as I said earlier, many of them are precisely the students to whom we need to reach out–the so called “at-risk” students. But I haven’t let this stop me…we all have to work together to build community. And I believe the BIONIC Team can help build community.
    5 – How you’ve changed the climate of your school to a more caring atmosphere.
    I’m not sure how to answer this question. I feel like we have room to grow in this area. I’m trying to get my students to just care about school at all, to feel connected to school. The Team has helped students feel connected, and has provided reasons for students to stay in school, which is great. Hopefully we can grow from there. Our BIONIC Team is still in it’s infancy…and I hope to see it improve from year to year.
    6 – How your students have been impacted personally as they’ve reached out to others
    As I mentioned, it is interesting to have my needy students gather together to collect food for a local charity, to fundraise and identify students at our school who have a special need. All of the BIONIC Team members have come forward with big hearts and open hands. Boy they have touched me!!! But, I think these activities have impacted my students in a different sort of way. They have grown as leaders, and they have grown in confidence as they have seen their plans come to fruition. Being a part of the BIONIC Team has helped my students see themselves be successful in a positive way, and to be admired by their peers, which is a first for this group!

  3. Palmer Ridge High School – Colorado Springs, Colorado – George Cruz, Counselor
    1. Why and how you started your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team
    I attended a workshop about BIONIC in the summer of 2007 (ASCA) and was thrilled that there could be such an outreach program within a school building. At that time, I was working at Lewis-Palmer High School and had witnessed new students getting lost in the transition into a new school, experienced the loss of a student during the school year, and worked with many students that were experiencing “challenging” times. More often than not, I realized that students were left to find their own way, and I found myself searching for a solution to this problem.
    After attending the workshop in 2007, I was full of ideas on how to implement the BIONIC concept into our school. Unfortunately, I was not able to gain the support needed to get the program started.
    However, our school district was in the process of opening a new high school and I saw this as the opportunity of a lifetime. 0nce hired to join the faculty at Palmer High School; I submitted a proposal to start a BIONIC club with the following stated goal:
    For the upcoming 2008-2009 school year, my goal is to incorporate the BIONIC (Believe It Or Not I Care) program into the Palmer Ridge High School culture. The goal of this program will be to facilitate communication and a sense of community as we begin building traditions at Palmer Ridge. Palmer Ridge opened it’s doors to students in August 2008, and BIONIC was established as a club within our school.
    2 – Which teams do you have and the types of outreaches?
    After attempting to separate students into specific teams, we found that having students volunteer to do outreach activities garnered better participation. When information was referred to BIONIC, this was posted for all members to view during our club time. Once information was reviewed, students took it upon themselves to create cards, gift packages or meet/plan with myself or the other sponsor about upcoming events.
    3 – Highlights of what you’ve done
    When new students came in, “welcome” packages were put together and delivered. Packages included a PRHS cup, pencil, welcome note, bumper sticker, and candy.
    Once made aware of a school tragedy, sympathy cards to various schools and families around the country were made and sent.
    We have sponsored coat and clothing drives for area agencies.
    • BIONIC sponsored 3 Faculty appreciation breakfasts.
    • BIONIC solicited local businesses for gift card items for families in need. 1 family that lost their home due to mold infestation, 1 faculty member and family lost their home due to fire.
    • We sent baked goods and sympathy/care packages for students/faculty that experienced a loss of a loved one.
    • BIONIC donated time and energy into planting several Tulip bulbs around campus.
    • At the end of the school year, BIONIC took on an “END HATE” campaign. Signs were posted throughout the school building with the Colorado Hate Crime law written. In the future, BIONIC team members will have business cards to hand out to students so that they are constantly reminded that Hate has no place in our community.
    4 – Challenges you’ve faced
    Biggest challenge this club faced was funding – being a new club, I was not granted funds to start the year, and most supplies came from donations from students, or out of pocket. For the upcoming school year, I was able to obtain grant dollars from our Parent foundation and other organizations.
    5 – How you’ve changed the climate of your school to a more caring atmosphere.
    “BIONIC has been an extremely helpful club in connecting our students with one another at Palmer Ridge High School. It has provided opportunities for students to reach out and support other students who are experiencing difficult times transitioning to a new school and not feeling connected socially. BIONIC has also been very positive with supporting our staff throughout the school year by acknowledging staff members who have family members that were sick and who have lost loved ones. This club helps our students develop empathy. I would encourage school leaders to explore the potential of this program.” Quote by Gary Gabel, Principal – Palmer Ridge High School
    6 – How your students have been impacted personally as they’ve reached out to others
    Students no longer ask “what can I do?” they now bring information to our club meetings and have ideas on projects they would like to be done. So the common question is “Can we do…?”.

  4. Elementary School in Rural Colorado
    Since we are an elementary school, we have a limited number of resources so we basically only wanted to start with one team – a New Student Team. So we give new students a “Survival Kit” and we have a pizza lunch each month to welcome the new students. Our club members (which we call Student Ambassadors) always wear a red lanyard with “Student Ambassadors” printed on them. So when the new students see our “Student Ambassadors” in the halls day or weeks after the New Student Lunch they know they will stop and help them with any questions they have or anything they need.

  5. Tuckahoe Middle School – Richmond, Virginia – Judy Putnam, Counselor
    1. Why and how you started your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team
    I all ready work with a group of 25 Peer Helpers and I incorporated your groups into that curriculum. It greatly helped with organization…and gave them some structure. We do not meet regularly so this group idea is perfect for them. Each group had a chairman who would see me almost daily for updates for their particular group.
    2 & 3. Which teams do you have and the types of outreaches and highlights of what you have done?
    We started initially with all the groups…but it quickly become too cumbersome for us.
    So I ended up with a
    • “Welcome to Tuckahoe” – we made welcome packets for each new student we had a Fall and Spring Ice Cream Social to explain all the clubs, etc. we assigned a group member to touch base with each new student within their first two weeks to be sure all was well
    • “Just To Let You Know We Care” – we made cards for sick students and those that had lost a family member. As we are in middle school we were not able to do the baking or delivery…but this worked great we put the cards in a school cup with some candy.
    4. Challenges you’ve faced
    The main challenge was the confidentiality part…my group was understanding that they could not know all the details. We also were not able to bake for the students or deliver it to their homes…..as my students are middle school aged…that was an option. But the cards were great and several parents got back to me later in the year to thank me.
    5 & 6. How you’ve changed the climate of your school to a more caring atmosphere & How your students have been impacted personally as they’ve reached out to others.
    We are still working on the part of changing the school community’s climate…but I do know that we changed the thinking and caring within our 25 students! It gave them something concrete to do…other than to wonder and feel like grief should not be addressed. It was a very positive learning for them…and I know it will only improve with each year.

  6. Wayne Carle Middle School – Westminster, Colorado — Pam Chandler, Counselor

    1. Why and how you started your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team
    I started the WCMS BIONIC program in the Fall of 2008. I was inspired by a presentation I had seen by the GMHS BIONIC members and was extremely impressed by their experiences and commitment. I, at that time, envisioned the possibility for a similar experience for my middle school students. I chose four 7th grade students, who were showing solid leadership abilities, to come with me to see the video at GMHS and to meet the current BIONIC team leaders. The enthusiasm shown afterwards by these seventh graders convinced me to give it a try. Our first year teams consisted of approximately 15-20 students per team. We did not have an application process, and several students were on 2+ teams. Approximately 67 students participated in different activities through out the school year – which is 1/3 of our 7th grade class.
    2 – Which teams do you have and the types of outreaches?
    Our teams were: Loss team; New Student team; Extended Illness team; and School Outreach team. Our Loss team delivered five pies to students and their families. We also made many cards and had them signed by numerous students and staff. We did not have one new student for our New Student team, but have many new student welcome cards and gifts prepared to go for next year! The students from this team want to meet with me, prior to the beginning of the new school year, to plan a special event (prior to the first day of school) to welcome incoming students from different schools or who are moving in from other districts or states. The extended illness team sent 10 cards to students who either were hospitalized or out with an extended illness or health condition. They also gathered homework and provided tutoring for several of these students. This team also came up with the idea to make beautiful fleece tie-blankets for three of our teachers who were going on maternity leave. They also made huge cards to go along with their blankets’ theme (dinosaurs, ducks, & bunnies) and had them signed by all of those teachers’ students. Our student Outreach Team participated in planning and implementing the Day Without Hate in conjunction with SLHS students and our feeder elementary schools. This entailed showing support for schools, students, and families who have been victims of school tragedies. The students covered the walls of our school with large posters containing quotes related to peace, acceptance, remembrance, and personal commitments to making our school a safe and accepting place for all. The also organized all students to wear white as a sign of solidarity with past victims of violence. Challenges aimed at encouraging inclusive actions were given by students through out the day. A pledge wall was created and all students signed flags that were part of a ceremony at the high school that evening. The event was a huge success and the whole school was involved (teachers, too)!
    3 – Highlights of what you’ve done.
    The highlights for me, as a counselor, were not so much in the specific events (which were great), but in the individual growth displayed in the student members. As we started out with a fairly small amount of money, it never failed to amaze me at how the kids would come up with creative ways to carry out their teams activities. Two 7th grade boys made all of our pies, and happily taught several of the other students the art! They were very proud of this contribution and broke a few gender stereotypes in the process! Kids would stay after school making beautiful cards on the computer with incredibly heartfelt personal messages. They would spend their usually precious social time, during lunch, going around having all of the other kids sign the numerous cards. Many of these kids were not your usual “leadership”, NJHS, or student council types. They were kids who were being given an opportunity to show that they cared about others and their enthusiasm and dedication was contagious. I had kids constantly asking me if they could be in BIONIC, too, as they heard through the grapevine about what these kids were doing for others.
    4. Challenges you’ve faced
    The challenges were probably the usual ones faced by all school counselors trying to implement a new program. The competition for fund-raising was a little stiff, and I was careful not to step on the toes of student council and NJHS. Pulling kids from classes to implement the Day Without Hate activities was particularly challenging and I had t meet individually with teachers to make sure that students were not being pulled who really needed to be in class. Fortunately, this event happened after CSAP tests. I did this on my own for the first year, with the help of a fantastic Para, and realize now that I definitely need some more adult help. However, I believe that our school staff will support me as some very positive impacts were observed in our school climate.
    5 – How you’ve changed the climate of your school to a more caring atmosphere?
    I believe that our school climate was positively impacted based on my experience and observations contrasted with 7th grade classes of the past. Our school has three feeder schools of incoming seventh graders. Traditionally, crossover friendships are not seen until the end of the school year, if at all. Many of the girl “dramas” and mean girl behaviors stem from the lack of contact they have with one another as “real people – just like me”. As kids signed up across the groups, they participated with one another, doing positive activities, and a chance for self-disclosure and connection was possible. Many of the kids signed up for the Loss team based on a personal experience of loss, and these experiences were shared with one another. Two girls in particular, from separate “groups”, had recently experience a suicide with a family member and they became good friends through providing mutual support to one another. Their two groups blended quite easily for the rest of the year as many of their friends were also in BIONIC and followed their lead. The number of female mediations was markedly lower this year for me, and I believe that the melting pot effect of BIONIC contributed to this. By the middle of the year, kids were waiting in lines at lunch to make sure that they were able to sign a card for a classmate or teacher who was out. They were able to start putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, as evidenced by comments like “I would hate to be stuck at home for so long and miss seeing everyone at school!” 
    6 – How your students have been impacted personally as they’ve reached out to others
    The personal impacts are too numerous to mention. I was able to be a part of a group of kids who were entering into one of the most identity forming stages of their lives and see one positive choice made after another. One of our students almost died of a ruptured appendix, missing 6 weeks of school, and was able to share with remarkable dignity about that experience and translate it into positive actions over and over through her empathy and outreach to others. Another student had her father commit suicide in the next room, after the 2nd week of school, and come back and receive incredible support and be there for other students experiencing loss. She chose to go on a pie delivery, which her Mom had declined, and conducted herself with poise and maturity. One of our students diagnosed with SIED became very involved and was able to contribute her amazing artistic talent and messages through out Day Without Hate. The examples just go on and on, but I hope that these accounts accurately convey the benefits for students, and especially for our under-estimated middle-schoolers, to encourage other counselors to give BIONIC a try!

  7. St. John’s Junior College – Belize City, Belize, Central America – Tina Cuellar & Martine King, Counsellors
    1 – Why and how you started your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team
    Tina Cuellar, the leader of the Belizean BIONIC chapter, attended a conference given by Sandy Austin, “Preventing Students from Falling Through the Cracks” and was moved and inspired by the concept of Believe It Or Not, I Care. The concept of BIONIC was merged with the peer counselling program at St. John’s College and has since enabled the group to do a lot of social outreach.
    2 – Which teams do you have and the types of outreaches (it will be good for them to hear of the differences culturally in your outreaches as compared to ours)
    The Belizean BIONIC chapter has to vary somewhat from the original BIONIC group because the concept had to fit the school and Belizean environment. Instead of having 5 teams, we have three teams: Loss Team, Hospitalization and Extended Illness team (HI); Natural Disaster Team. Unfortunately, Belize experiences quite a few natural disasters and hence the name.
    *Also, we do not have a New Student Team because all new students are taken care of by the Student Affairs
    Office.
    3 – Highlights of what you’ve done
    The Loss Team has given out 29 care packages.
    • The HI Team has given out 19 care packages.
    • The Natural Disaster Team has fundraised and donated food and money to flood victims and have also donated their time and efforts during different clean up campaigns.
    • The care packages include relevant literature, inspirational quotes, homemade cards, goodies, a small gift and student scheduling.
    4 – Challenges you’ve faced
    one of the biggest challenges faced by the group is finding out when a student/faculty/staff has experienced a loss or illness. As the awareness of the group has increased so have referrals but still, it is something that needs to be worked on. The Belizean BIONIC chapter has decided to try the referral system used by the original BIONIC group. Referral forms will be placed in each department and class in an attempt to advertise and simplify the process.
    5 – How you’ve changed the climate of your school to a more caring atmosphere.
    The reaction of students/faculty/staff has been positive. The group has received numerous e-mails expressing how much the recipients enjoyed receiving the care packages.
    6 – How your students have been impacted personally as they’ve reached out to others.
    It is safe to say that the students have grown from the experience of reaching out to others in their time of need. Being able to make someone smile when he/she is facing challenging times has a powerful effect and the students recognize the value of what the group does.

  8. Westminster High School – Westminster, CO – Laura Diercks & Jennifer Nakata, School Counselors
    1) Why and how you started your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team and # of kids in your group? We started a BIONIC team because we believe that our population could really benefit from having one present in the school, both in terms of reaching out to others and in terms of giving students the opportunity to experience being part of the team that cares for our community. We have a large school and it is far too easy for students (and staff for that matter) to slip through the cracks. We can see how crucial a team like BIONIC can be in our students feel like they’re noticed and cared about. We currently have 24 active members.
    2) Which teams do you have and what types of outreaches? We have intentionally started small to ensure that we do it right and can grow from there. This year we began with a New Student Team and hope to add one new team next year.
    3) Highlights of what you’ve done? Our students have created New Student packs that are given to each new student that enrolls at WHS. The pack includes a candy bar, BIONIC pencil, and hand written welcome note from the BIONIC team. This is delivered by a member of the BIONIC team with an invite to a new student lunch. At the new student lunch we play get-to-know-you games and encourage the new students to mingle with one another as well as with BIONIC team members
    4) Challenges you’ve faced? We’ve experience a couple challenges, most notably fundraising. Clearly it takes money to make these teams and activities work and we’ve found it difficult to find effective fundraising opportunities. We’re hoping to have 1 big fundraiser over the summer that hopefully will fund next year. We’ve also had difficulty getting all our new students to attend the new students lunch. We’re reviewing how we invite them and plan to be more one-on-one and personal in our invitations, hoping that will help to encourage them to attend.
    5) How you’ve changed the climate of your school to a more caring atmosphere? As the year progressed we had more and more students ask us about BIONIC and are interested in joining, so word is spreading! We’re not yet to the point of significant climate change but we’re heading in the right direction.
    6) How your students have been impacted personally as they’ve reached out to others? The students enjoy being a part of something positive (as do we) and seem to really like being part of the team that is creating BIONIC at WHS. We’ve certainly started small but will grow and improve over time!

  9. Bear Creek K-8 School – Lakewood, Colorado – Debbie Millard, Counselor
    1 – Why and how you started your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team
    I was a new counselor and wanted to start a club that would attract all kinds of students. Our school has middle school sports, which attracted those kids who were into sports. We also have an NJHS and Senate group but both of those clubs have a GPA requirement. There were a lot of students that did not fit in anywhere. This is why I started BIONIC. I don’t require a GPA standard and even if you have been suspended or in trouble you are welcome to join. I have kids who are part of Senate and NJHS as well as kids who are not. We have students who normally don’t talk to each other during the regular school day come to the BIONIC meetings and work together. The BIONIC kids report that they have made new friends.

    2 – Which teams do you have and the types of outreaches (it will be good for them to hear of the differences culturally in your outreaches as compared to ours)
    – We try to have all teams but I am in a small option school and we really don’t get new students during the year. We did a welcome bag for new 7th graders to the building at the beginning of the year. I have expanded the club down to 5th and 6th grade, which is a normal neighborhood school and they do get new students. However, unless the students tell me about the new students, then it is hard to make sure we welcome all the new students.
    – We have the school tragedy team and make posters when needed. We created a team called “bully busters.” The idea behind this team is to have members go into classrooms, especially the younger grades and present about how hurtful bullying can be. (I am in a K-8 school. The 7th and 8th grade is an option school and the K-6 is a neighborhood school.)
    – We also make cards for teachers who have lost family members or who are sick. It is hard to deliver pies to those who have lost family members because with middle school kids, their schedules are controlled by their family so they cannot just go and deliver a pie at night.
    – Outreaches are determined by the students or by suggestions from family and staff. For example, a student this year mother works in a building that was collecting items for soldiers. They asked BIONIC if they would like to help in the effort. So we did a school wide “Treats for Troops” outreach where we had students bring in various items like water flavoring, shampoo, soap, cookies and snacks. We filled over 15 boxes with items and the parent then took the items to her work and they shipped them out. We also had a student suggest that we buy wreaths for graves at Veterans cemeteries so we bought ten wreaths at Christmas. We have done small gift bags for children in shelters at Christmas time.

    3 – Highlights of what you’ve done
    BIONICS biggest event is “Day Without Hate.” This year we organized a Holocaust survivor to come in and address 6th, 7th and 8th graders. It was incredibly emotional and well received. It was part of the “Day Without Hate” week. We also get together prior to the week and make several posters with positive and peaceful quotes that we hang throughout the school. Again, this is very well received by the community. We do a “Mix it Up Lunch” on the actual “Day Without Hate.”

    4 – Challenges you’ve faced
    Communication is a big challenge. I have meetings once a month. One meeting with the 5th and 6th graders and one with the 7th and 8th graders. I am still working on how to make this more functional. With Google DOCs however, I am hoping this will help with communication because I will be able to email all the students.

    5 – How you’ve changed the climate of your school to a more caring atmosphere.
    By creating posters for schools that have suffered a tragedy this provides an opportunity to have conversations with students about happenings that are occurring outside of their school. I think just by providing the information that there is more to the world then just their school, this helps open the eyes of students. If it is only for a moment, when a student is signing a poster, they are thinking about others and this creates a more caring environment.

    6 – How your students have been impacted personally as they’ve reached out to others.
    I have been interviewing my 8th graders who have really been the ones to help start this club and have been part of it for two years. They are stating that they personally have made different friends due to the club. They have said that BIONIC has given them a sense of belonging and leadership skills.

  10. Springs Ranch Elementary – Colorado Springs, CO — Dawn Wiley
    Who are B.I.O.N.I.C. team members?
    Team members are made up of kind and caring 5th grade students who would like to share their generosity and kindness with others in their school and community by doing “acts of kindness”.

    What do B.I.O.N.I.C. team members do?
    Our team’s mission is to show as many people as we can that WE CARE! We will do this in a variety of ways:
    1. Serve as lunch helpers in the cafeteria for younger students
    2. Have lunch with any new students to our school to help them feel welcome
    3. Provide assistance to teachers in the building
    4. Be a role model for other students by:
    – reading stories to the younger classes
    – tutoring etc.
    5. Participate in community service projects throughout the school year
    6. Help support any students and staff through challenging times (make cards)
    7. Help celebrate the many successes of students and staff members

    We had a great year beginning this new program and hope that our kind acts will be “contagious” for others! J

  11. 1 – Why and how you started your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team and # of students in your group: We started our teams to respond to new students and ill students. We partnered our BIONIC team with our Student Leadership team (Baker Student Leaders) and had about 40 students invovled.
    2 – Which teams do you have and the types of outreaches: We started our BIONIC team with a new student and student illness teams. We met monthly with new students to ensure a sooth integration into our 5th/6th grade school. We had a few students and a staff member that was ill and our team sent get well cards.
    3 – Highlights of what you’ve done: we consistently met monthly with our new students for lunch and reached 29 new students.
    4 – Challenges you’ve faced: getting students to the front of the lunch line so we have time to visit with new students.
    5 – How you’ve changed the climate of your school to a more caring atmosphere: I think the new sudents really felt welcomed and had a support system built in for them.
    6 – How your B.I.O.N.I.C. Team students have been impacted personally as they’ve reached out to others. The students were so excited to have BIONIC LUNCH!!!

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