Superintendent Cyndy S. Taymore
360 Lynn Fells Parkway
Melrose , MA 02176
For Immediate Release
Monday, July 18, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Melrose Middle School to Launch “Project IMPACT” to Promote Positive School Environment
MELROSE — Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School Principal Brent Conway is pleased to announce that come this fall, students will launch “Project IMPACT” to address school climate and promote a safe and inclusive environment for all.
Project IMPACT (Individuals Making Positive Actions Count Today) will leverage the expertise of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Melrose Alliance Against Violence (MAAV) to empower student leaders to become agents of change. It will include the ADL’s “Classroom of Difference” program, which is an anti-bias training that teaches student leaders to work with their peers to confront bias and create inclusive environments by addressing the harms caused by name calling and bullying.
Students will learn how to identify bias, spot signs of abusive relationships, and speak out against bullying. Thirty student leaders, or “peer influencers” will be selected and provided with 40 hours of training by the ADL on issues related to racism, anti-Semitism and anti-bias. MAAV will conduct training sessions on friendship issues, bullying, sexual harassment and homophobia. The 30 trained peer leaders will then meet weekly with two teacher advisers and will work to educate their peers through classroom presentations and awareness campaigns. Students from MAAV’s Student Action Board at the high school will also be involved in conducting the training with middle school leaders.
“The ADL Peer Trainer program is regarded as one of the most powerful and influential tools a school can use and I believe it will institutionalize the great work we have started at MVMMS,” Principal Conway said. “I am very grateful for the community organizations and businesses that have signed on to support this work and we are looking forward to the effect it will have on our school community.”
The new initiative is being championed and funded by the Victoria McLaughlin Foundation, MAAV, Melrose Cooperative Bank, Melrose Education Foundation and the Rotary Club of Melrose.
MVMMS teachers Adam Azia and Chelsea Slosberg, who will serve as the faculty advisers, will participate in a three-day induction training — World of Difference Summer Institute for Educators — with the ADL in Vermont this summer. The course connects educators from around the country to work with students and faculty throughout the year. They will work closely with MVMMS guidance counselors, administration and MAAV during the school year to launch the program.
For more information, contact Principal Conway at [email protected] or MAAV at 781-979-2160.