Twenty-Three Students Complete NCBI Training
Students leaders participated in a National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) training session at Chatham Middle School September 29 and 30. This program is hosted each year by the CMS guidance and counseling department as part of the school’s ongoing character education program. The NCBI training empowers students with skills and strategies to address bullying and improve the social climate throughout their school.
For eighth grader Grayson Van Wie, participating in NCBI is important because he loves the Chatham community and wants to make it a better place. “I hope to terminate bullying in our entire school. I know it’s a lofty goal, but no one should have to deal with harassment,” Grayson said.
Grayson and twenty-two like-minded seventh and eighth grade volunteers took part in the NCBI training this year. They are Nicolette Allen, Christopher Becker, Ella Boshart, Anna Carroll, Noah Fowler, Ryan Graziano, Adryanna Jennings, Clara Jones, Hannah Kelly, Tait Kline, Micheala Kratt, Kaydense Morgan, Ethan Narofsky, Brady Oles, Fiona Phelps, Ava Powers, Tatum Shea, Logan Shields, Hannah Spock, Abigail Taylor, Lauren Tacner, and Sonam Verma.
These students, under the direction of their school’s guidance staff, will play an active role in addressing prejudice, stereotyping, and bullying in their school through positive example setting and peer leadership. The training included the students partaking in the types of group exercises that they themselves will soon be leading for their schoolmates, such as "Speak Outs" where each student shared a personal experience with harassment or bullying. With the training now complete, they begin their work this October, which happens to be Bully Prevention Month, by leading coalition building workshops in sixth grade classrooms to promote diversity, self-esteem, and acceptance of others.
“It’s a responsibility and a commitment, but it’s worth it,” said Grayson. “Our school is a big part of our community and a happy school makes a happier community.”
NCBI is a nonprofit leadership training organization based in Washington, D.C. that works to eliminate prejudice and conflict in communities the world over. Local NCBI facilitators Ira Baumgarten and Tawana Davis visited CMS to join school counselor Jackie Hoffman in leading the two-day student training session.