Using the 4-way Test Coin to Reduce Bullying in Schools
A member of the Rotary Club of Seaside participated in the Essentials of Rotary Knowledge (ERK) in 2011-12. The final assignment was to write a paper about a project that could be presented to her club. The member wrote about the plethora of “reality” television shows that show people bullying each other and how this could contribute to children accepting this as acceptable behavior.
The club members present dictionaries to 4th grade students in the Seaside School District. This project proposed presenting the 4-way Test coins to 5th grade students who move to middle school in the 6th grade. The coin gives the student a tangible reminder of how to be fair and kind in their treatment of others.
Rotarians presented 4-way Test coins to 130 students and 5 teachers shortly after the students participated in a “Rachel’s Challenge” anti-bullying program. With help from the teachers, the Rotarians discussed situations where students could use the 4-way Test to decide how to react to a situation in a positive way. One class had just learned about polio and was very interested in how they could help to end polio. The club hopes to include students in a future polio fundraising project.
After the coin presentations, members of the Rotary club were invited to donate their copies of “The Rotarian” to the 5th grade teachers. The magazine is a wonderful tool to bring current world conditions to students in three small Oregon towns.
Two club members are police chiefs who gave coins to their police officers to use as a tool to connect with students they may encounter. The students were told that they could “challenge” the officers by showing their coins. If the officer did not have theirs, they would have to give the student a gift beyond the usual stickers and pencils the department uses for outreach.
The club will introduce the 4-way Test essay and speech contest to 7th and 8th grade students during the 2013-14 Rotary year. It hopes that the essays of the students with coins in 2014-15 will reflect a greater awareness of what it means to be a good school, community and world citizen.