Campus Impressions Team Lift HT Wiley Intermediate School

Caption: Students listen attentively to Campus Impression’s Team Lift during a general assembly at H.T. Wiley Intermediate School for Bullying Prevention Week. [Photo by Gideon Blackburn]

Tuesday, October 16, 2013
By Gideon Blackburn

WATERTOWN, NY – Electric guitars buzzed, drums roared, and vocals soared as 560 students at H.T. Wiley Intermediate School sang about treating one another with respect and “crazy kindness.” The vibrant concert-style event, complete with skits and charismatic youth speakers is all part of the the Watertown City School District’s creative plan to prevent bullying in its schools.

“This presentation is exactly the kind of thing we need in our schools,” says Patricia LaBarr, Principal of Wiley School, speaking about Team Lift of Watertown-based Campus Impressions. “Team Lift’s anti-bullying presentation wasn’t even over for five minutes when one of our students came up to me and said, ‘Principal LaBarr, guess what? One of the girls who’s been bullying me just came up and apologized to me. I can’t believe it!’ Now that’s just cool.”

LaBarr isn’t alone in her enthusiasm. The presentation at Ohio Elementary School had children singing along, including their administrators.

“Our assembly today was right in line with everything we teach our students on a regular basis,” says Principal Mark Taylor. “It was spot on, the kids loved it, and so did the teachers.”

Mayor Jeffrey Graham was on site for yesterday’s presentation at North Elementary School to proclaim that the month of October is officially Watertown’s Bullying Prevention Month, and kicked things off with a special greeting to the children. From there, Team Lift took center stage in leading an energetic and fast-paced presentation tailored for the students.

“This is about engaging kids with simple truths and making it fun for them,” says Campus Impressions speaker Christopher Hopper. “Treating one another with crazy kindness is one of the most powerful things we can do. We’re not just trying to help kids at their present age, but to give them tools for being successful adults when they grow up. We hope they remember these moments long after our events are over.”

Campus Impressions has three more schools to present in this week, including Knickerbocker Elementary School on Thursday, and both Sherman Elementary and Watertown High School on Friday.

“Today was a great way to kick off our bullying-prevention campaign,” says Wiley School Guidance Counselor, Lynne Hebert. “Hopefully Wiley School can spread crazy kindness!” •

Campus Impressions Team Lift Ohio School

Caption: Students listen attentively to skits by Campus Impression’s Team Lift at Ohio School on Wednesday, October 16th. [Photo by Gideon Blackburn]

Campus Impressions Team Lift Jennifer Hopper singing Ohio School

Caption: Singer Jennifer Hopper leading kids in song at Ohio School on Wednesday, October 16th. [Photo by Gideon Blackburn]

Campus Impressions Team Lift Christopher Hopper North Elementary School

Caption: Speaker Christopher Hopper speaking during Campus Impression’s presentation at North Elementary School on Tuesday, October 15th. [Photo by Jacob Widrick]