Blog

March 5th – 11th

Hey Readers!

This past week has come and gone faster than jambalaya over white rice. We had an Ice Cream event at Altha School (more on that below), as well as some effective planning for our upcoming bystander training. We’re hoping we can make it a great couple of weeks before closing out the month with Spring Break!

Last Friday we held an Ice Cream social during lunch at Altha Public school. The event was focused around staying proactive, as well as serving as great face to face time with the students. We hope we were able to spark some wonderful conversations by thinking about how you can get involved when the need arises. The ice cream event also was a good opportunity to have some fun before we get back to doing our regular work at Altha School. Just next week we’ll be doing our bystander training and we can’t be more excited to share our message with you! If you’re dying to get an invite, a great way to ensure that you can come is to ask Mrs. Treva in the front office.

icecream

One great thing about violence prevention is that it can be lots of fun! As the end of the school year approaches, schedules and events are coming through the door. On top of planning our usual events, we’re almost always excited to attend community events as well! So if you have any great ideas, make sure share them with either Tyler or Vicki, and we’ll be more than happy to help you bring your thoughts into reality.

No matter what amazing Green Dot’s ya’ll are doing at your schools, one thing is for sure! Our actions, no matter how big or small, add up to something great. If you want to make a difference in your school and you don’t know how, maybe start small. Sitting with someone new at lunch, or asking someone who appears down how their day is going is a great place to start. Who knows, you might even make a new friend!

Your choices, actions, and behaviors have a bigger impact than you know. Sometimes just being yourself and carrying an open heart can make all the difference in the world. So go out there and make it happen. After all, tomorrow starts today!

February 26th – March 4th

Hey Readers!

Spring Break is just 2 weeks away and I couldn’t be more excited! Like many of you, I’m excited about getting a little time to myself and maybe even getting out in the sun.

Not too much is going on at this time in the school year, but I think this slight lull in scheduling is a great time to look for fun opportunities going on at our schools. Before statewide testing inevitably takes over our campuses in the coming weeks, we really ought to squeeze as much as we can out of the time that we have at our disposal. One such student is doing just that by scheduling and running his own game tournament on Blountstown High’s campus. ‘Yu-gi-oh’ is a card game that has seen quite a bit of attention at BHS in the last couple years and this Saturday at 9 AM there will be a tournament going on! Students will have a chance to not only show off their skills, but will attempt to win one of a few really cool prizes. Entrance in the tournament is granted by just 5 dollars, but there will be ‘friendly’ matches going on throughout the day if you just want to show up and hang out.

Green Dot is always looking to new events and different activities to be a part of on your campus. If you’re planning an event or have a great idea, we’d be happy to help you out! Green Dot is constantly looking for new way’s that we can interact with our students, so if you want a little violence prevention programming, or just have some ideas, then please seek us out on campus! Not only would you be doing something possibly fun and engaging, but you may even be doing a proactive Green Dot in the process!

Tomorrow (Tuesday) at lunch we’ll be conducting survey’s at Liberty County High School. It’ll be a good chance to give us some feedback or to share what amazing things you’ve been doing on campus as of late. It’ll also be a good chance to pick up some Green Dot related goodies (pens or pencils, key chains) just by participating.

No matter what your Green Dots are, remember that big or small everyone can make a difference. If we all work together our small actions will add up to something great!

February 18th-25th

Hey Readers!

February is wrapping up and Spring Break is right around the corner!  Like many of you I’ve noticed the weather is already starting to warm up.  Personally I’m so excited for spring.  I’m planning on hopping down to the beach, sun bathing, and not doing a thing for at least one weekend coming up.

This week Green Dot will be collecting surveys while planning something fun for the following week.  So if your head is full of any great ideas please share them with us!  We’re really looking to do more activities centered around lunch time, which if you’re lucky might entail something like another ice-cream social!

One of my favorite parts of working on the Green Dot program is getting to hear everyone’s bystander stories.  Many of our students have at least one story about a time they weren’t feeling well and someone took the time to cheer them up, or a time they were able to help someone out of an unhealthy situation.  Sometimes it’s little things like sitting with someone at lunch who is all alone, other times our students share really amazing stories about getting involved in a bullying incident or breaking up a fight.  Sometimes students end up in a story just by circumstance, other times they insert themselves into a narrative and create their own story with their good actions.

I want to encourage you today to write your own story!  Get involved and do something great, it can be really rewarding and leave you with something great you can pass around.  If you’re thinking to yourself “man I really want to get involved, but I don’t know who to help” then maybe you can start small.  Try being a new friend to someone who you think really needs it.  Or just make it your duty to ask everyone how they’re doing.  Sometimes the first step to becoming a violence prevention expert is setting up your peer networks so that you’re more connected to your fellow classmates.

What ever Green Dots you end up doing I’m sure you’ll end up doing something great.  Who knows, sometimes it’s the little things that end up making you a hero!

Valentine’s Day!

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Hey Readers!

Love was in the air last week as we went about our regular classes and celebrated Valentine’s Day. We’re kicking off this week right with a Monday off for President’s Day, soon to be followed by Spring Break in just a few short weeks. But before we get into this week’s message, let’s recap what our students put together for us last week.

As some of you may be aware, February is teen dating violence awareness month (as well as a few other things.) We here at Green Dot thought that it would be a good idea to center an activity around Valentine’s Day to promote healthy dating between our high school students. The activity featured painting a banner with the words “what does love look like” followed by a short activity that gave students a chance to share what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like (see examples below). Around the activity we also passed out hearts on which the students could share what qualities they look for in dating partners. Students shared all kinds of different things ranging from honesty and integrity to ‘I need my boyfriend to listen to Michael Jackson’ or ‘I just want to date someone taller than me’. Although the activity did not focus specifically on violence, it was a great way to show what healthy, non-violent relationships look like.image1 (1).JPGimage6.JPG

Last week was a lot of fun and we are so glad that you came out and showed your support.  Special thanks to the students at BHS and LCHS for putting in their time and sharing what it means to be in a healthy relationship.

When we talk about proactive Green Dots, we usually think of wearing a Green Dot shirt or having a conversation about preventing violence with your peers. However, a proactive Green Dot is really anything you do ahead of time that makes violence less likely to occur. A great way to get more involved is to make preventing violence fun! Some great ways to do this include just making new friends, staying connected with your peers on campus, and letting other people know that you’re there if they call. By doing this, you’re taking a major step in preventing violence. Especially since February is teen dating violence awareness month, maybe you could focus your proactive Green Dots on that issue!

Other ideas for proactive Green Dots include sharing your phone number with people who you suspect might be in an unhealthy relationship and just letting them vent to you, as this might be one way to help them out of the relationship. If you know of someone who has a jealous and/or possessive girlfriend or boyfriend that you know reads their texts, maybe opt into using Snapchat as a resource as it doesn’t save the conversations you’re sharing. No matter what you choose to do, know that you can make a difference and that your actions add up. Just by having a conversation, you might make someone’s day better, or even prevent violence!

And lastly, remember that big or small anyone can make a difference.  Together our good deeds and actions will add up to something great!

February 4th-11th

Hey Readers!

Valentine’s day is this Thursday!  If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend I hope that you have them in mind this week!  In my mind chocolates has long been a theme in Valentines Day.  Sharing gifts and sweets is a great way to show your appreciation to someone you care about and on a Valentine’s day you’re almost expected to have something in hand!  Secretly one of my favorite things in February is all of the ‘on sale’ chocolate the day after, I’m very much looking forward to indulging in a few sweets this weekend.

 

Green Dot has planned some great activities around Valentine’s Day this week!  So if you’re a Blountstown High School student think about stopping by the library this Tuesday to enjoy painting, candy, and conversation!  If you happen to attend Liberty County High we’ll be on your campus the day of Valentine.  The activity will focus on promoting healthy relationships between high school students and will give participating students a chance to share with others what healthy relationships look like.  Everyone is welcome to attend (as long as you have the free time in your schedule available).  Even if you’re not interested in any of the activities that we’re doing, you should stop by anyway to get some chocolate at least!

February is teen-dating violence awareness month and we here at Green Dot think that it’s a great time to be proactive!  Proactive Green Dot’s are little things we do to stay on top of things and promote anti-violence.  It may be something like having a conversation about our roles as bystanders, or wearing your Green Dot shirt.  Anything that you do ahead of time that might reduce the risk of violence is a proactive Green Dot.  One great way you could get involved this week would be to come out to our booster this Tuesday and Thursday; not only would you be doing your part in preventing violence on campus, but it’ll be a lot of fun!

Remember that big or small we all have an impact on the people around us.  You never know, by getting involved you just might become someones hero!

January 8 – February

Hey Readers!

It’s crazy that you can enjoy just a few quick weekends and the month is already over!  February is already here soon to be followed by Valentine’s and President’s Day.  It’s so exciting to think about all the school-related events and holidays coming up as we enter into 2019. Who knows–we might even get a day off or two!

Over the last week our Green Dot team traveled down to (not so) sunny Orlando Florida for a work-related conference.  While that isn’t the most exciting aspect of working in violence prevention, it did give us some new insights into what we do.  We were able to share with other programs and learn about the different ways schools and communities are doing Green Dot all over the state!  With a fresh new perspective and some newly cultivated hope, your Green Dot team will be back in action starting tomorrow.  So be ready for upcoming Green Dot activities!

We talk a lot about getting involved in preventing violence in Green Dot (it is kind of what we do after all).  Most of the time we tell you to be on guard and to get involved if you see anything that makes you uncomfortable, but what if I told you there’s another way to get involved with Green Dot!  One of the very best ways you can be a better bystander is to be proactive even when there isn’t any violence on the horizon.  This might mean getting the phone numbers of other parents to stay in touch, or talking about our roles in violence prevention, or wearing Green Dot gear to advertise our message.  As many of our students already know, in January we work extra hard to promote our social media profiles and to get the Green Dot message out there.  It would be a super big help if any of our readers followed our posts on Facebook or Instagram; not only would you be promoting our program, but you’d be doing a proactive Green Dot in the process!

No matter what your Green Dot is, by getting involved you are making your community safer.  Whether it’s hanging out with someone who is sitting alone at lunch, standing up for the little guy, breaking up fights, or just checking in, your positive actions have a huge impact on the people around you.  As we move further into 2019, I hope that each and every one of us can do just one thing to show another person that we’re there for them.

Just this last fall I was fortunate enough to see everyone come together in wake of a crisis.  As unfortunate as Hurricane Michael was, it was truly a blessing to see so many people lend a helping hand when other people needed it so badly.  It would be a wonderful thing if we could carry that forward and continue to serve members of our community in their times of need.  Even though it’s a sore sight to see so many blue tarps driving around town, let it serve as a reminder that we still have work to do!

Never forget you can make a difference, whether big or small, so together we can let our good works add up to something great!

Back to School!

Hey Readers!

Happy New Year! 2019 is going to be a good year, we’re sure of it! I hope you didn’t forget too much over the break, because school is back in session! We’re so excited to bring you more of our Green Dot message the next time we step onto campus.

One of the most exciting aspects of the new year is everyone’s New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s a resolution to get along better with our neighbors, to eat healthier, to visit family more, or even learn something new, we hope you take this opportunity to better your life in some way!

If you’re looking for a resolution or wanted one but couldn’t think of any, then we might have you covered! A Great New Year’s resolution might be learning more about how you can get involved in preventing violence as a Green Dot Bystander. A great place to start is learning the 3 D’s; these three bystander tools are a great way to think about getting involved ahead of time so that you’re prepared if the need arises! The first of these 3 D’s is Direct: which means that you’re going to get directly involved if violence crosses your path. Being someone that gets directly involved takes courage and a lot of guts. While being the hero might sound great on paper, it’s not always the best option. Like, what if a weapon was involved? Sometimes being a hero mean’s Delegating: the second of our 3D’s. Being someone who delegates means telling someone else so they can get involved. Being an effective delegator means knowing the right person for the job, whether it’s the sheriff, an older student, or a teacher/coach you trust. Last but not least is Distract. Distracting sounds kind of odd, but a lot of times it can really diffuse a situation and change the pace of events. Distracting effectively means inserting yourself into a potentially violent situation without drawing attention to the concerning behaviors themselves. It might be telling a funny joke, or spilling a soda at a party, or asking for a ride home when you’re worried your friend is going to get into trouble. No matter what you choose to do, what is important is that you get involved!

No matter what your Green Dot is, you can ‘save the day’ by just getting involved. Big or small anyone can become a hero, even if only for a day. So step up, speak out, even if you have to make it your New Year’s resolution!

Christmas Break

 

Green Dot Christmas Tree
Merry Christmas from your Calhoun/Liberty team!

Hey Readers!

Christmas is officially right around the corner and I don’t know about you, but I’m more than excited! I hope that you’re looking forward to a Christmas like mine, because I know that pecan pie, honey baked ham, and the Charlie Brown Christmas special are all waiting on me this coming week. More on Christmas coming up!

But before that, I want to thank everyone who came out and showed their support at the Liberty County-Altha Basketball game. The turnout was really great and it meant a lot to see so many basketball fans watching their home teams compete. For those of you that missed out on the event we set up our Green Dot action event at this week’s last ball game. We had Green Dot goodies, as well as some Green Dot messaging to share with you. This year we were not only able to have t-shirts on hand, but we were able to print warm up shirts for both the teams participating in Tuesday night’s game. Most of the students seemed pretty excited to be receiving something personally made for them. I hope the shirts not only served as cool garb to wear before the game, but also as reminders to be the kind of bystander that they want to be. I’d also like to give an extra special thanks to everyone who stopped by our table during Tuesday night’s ball games. We had a short activity set up where people could choose a proactive Green Dot statement that they could live by and add it to others to form a paper chain of proactive Green Dot statements. All in all it was a great night and I’m happy to have shared it with all of you.

One word that seems to come up a lot during the holiday season is Tradition. Whether it’s a tradition to sing Christmas Carols around your neighborhood, or to get together and bake treats, or to watch Christmas specials and hangout, I think every family has one or two of them at least. The traditions at my family gatherings seem to be good eating and long arguments about nonsensical things, but no matter what I love being home for the holidays. Whatever your family traditions I hope that you enjoy them and one day cherish them, because personally I think they say a lot about our values and who we are as individuals.

Tying in Green Dot, I think the best way we can combat violence in our culture is to add a few new traditions. Making it a habit to check in on our friends and family is a great way to be proactive and to keep the people you love safe. The best part, is that it ties right into the holiday season. Most likely you’ll already be talking to your loved ones over the break; it might be a great opportunity to ask the right questions and learn about what’s going on in their lives! Another tradition we could get in the habit of doing is letting people know that we’re there for them if the need ever arises. Sometimes just telling someone you know ahead of time that you’ll be there in a time of need can really comfort people. By being prepared to help those around you and knowing how you would respond to any given situation is being proactive, and a lot of the time you’re already doing most of the work!

I hope that everyone has a safe Christmas break this year, but assuming something goes wrong don’t forget your 3 D’s! The 3 D’s are a great way to think about getting involved if push comes to shove. Whether it’s by directly getting involved in stopping violence, delegating to a responsible person, or distracting to diffuse an uncomfortable situation, know that you can make a difference!

Sincerely I hope you have a great holiday season and it’s everything you’ve been looking forward to! Until next time, Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

 

December 3-10th

Hey Readers!

Christmas is fast approaching and I can’t wait! Only two more weeks until honey baked ham and time with the family. Personally one of my favorite things about the holiday season is watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special (with or without my family). I have quite a few memories attached to that specific television broadcast and it brings back all that feel good nostalgia from my childhood.

The holidays are a great time for people to come together and to enjoy cold weather indoors, and if the weather is really cold, people are sure to want to be inside together. While I hope you will not be experiencing much violence over the break, I do think that we can still strive to be great bystanders this winter (even if it’s just to be a little proactive). One great and fun way to do this would be to get better in touch with your family. Sharing phone numbers and building good relationships is a great way to maintain a support network in times of need, and a great way to stay connected and reliable to other people. A good way to stay proactive is to stay in the know about your family and to be involved with other people around you! Some great ways you could do that before the break might be things like: sitting with someone new at lunch, or joining a club, or asking someone you already know to hang out after school. By staying connected we stay safe!

I hope this Christmas season is a great one for everyone this year, even if it isn’t a very exciting one. Remember that big or small, anyone can be a hero! Whether it’s 1) using your 3D’s to get right in the middle of a fight, 2) using your good choices to keep your friends safe throughout the school year, or 3) something else great, you can make a real difference!

November 25-30th

Hey Readers!

The Holiday season is all around us as we move from November to December. It’s crazy to think that Christmas is only 3 weeks away and that it’ll be here in no time. Although Thanksgiving continues to be my favorite holiday, I’m just as excited about Christmas around the corner and the opportunity to see some of my extended family.

Green Dot is excited to tell you that we have an upcoming Action Event that will take place during the Altha boy’s basketball game vs Liberty County High School on December 18th. We hope you’ll show your support by coming to the game and having a great time! It will be a good time to reaffirm your commitment to keeping our community safe, while also having fun.

Sometimes doing the right thing can be hard. We want all of our students to feel empowered whenever they see something that makes them uncomfortable and for them to truly believe they can make a difference. No matter what kind of situation you’re in there are Green Dot solutions for you. We call these the 3D’s and these tips are really the core of our program. The first of these 3D’s is Direct; to direct just means that you are prepared to get directly involved in the situation. Maybe it’s an argument between friends that’s gotten a little out of hand, or maybe one of your friend’s dates pushed boundaries to hard.. Direct means taking charge of a situation and checking in, or standing up for what’s right. The second of the 3D’s is to Delegate; while delegating is pretty easy, sometimes it can take a little preparation and the right state of mind. To delegate just means to tell someone else who will Direct. It might be a teacher you trust, or an outspoken friend, or your parents, or if it’s serious maybe the police/sheriff. If you’re someone who delegates you might need to be prepared ahead of an emergency so you know who to call. The last of the 3D’s, but definitely not least is Distract. Distracting just means getting right in the thick of things without acknowledging that you even have realized something was off about the situation. This means putting yourself in the middle of an ongoing argument or fight and drawing attention to yourself and away from the conflict. This might involve changing the subject, or busting out your best one liner jokes, or being the abundantly funny individual that your classmates love. To be someone who distracts can take the most creative thinking, but it can really pay off.

No matter who you are there’s a Green Dot for you. Even if it’s something small like checking in on your friends. Remember that big or small you can make a difference, even if it’s only one Green Dot at a time. Who knows, you might end up a hero!