Ms. Gentile and Ms. DiMatteo Lead FDR’s Anti-Bullying Contest


2J3A4020 (1) (800x533)Bullying is a nationwide epidemic that affects thousands of students each year. To combat this, schools have raised awareness to help students identify and prevent bullying. FDR has taken a unique approach to raise awareness. For the past three years, FDR has held an anti-bullying contest, in which students create ways to advertise effective methods against bullying. Supervising this effort is Ms.Gentile, an English teacher, and Ms.DiMatteo, the school Librarian.  This year’s winners include: Tiffany Chen, Stephanie Lahens, and Alejandra Aragon.  The Honorable Mentions were: Elese Li, Jia Liao, Maggie Liang and Mukhammad Norimov. The New Dealer had a chance to sit down and speak with Ms. Gentile and Ms. Dimatteo to ask questions pertaining to the anti-bullying competition.   What was the objective of the anti-bullying contest? Ms.Gentile: “One of our biggest goals was to bring awareness about anti-bullying to the students. We also wanted to create a community of respect among the students. Students are bullied and don’t often realize that there are several ways to combat bullying.” Ms.DiMatteo: “We are a professional development team. We held this competition for three years. This year we wanted students to create a way to advertise anti-bullying using technology. Cyber bullying is on the rise, and we would like to get students active in the anti-bullying movement.”   How do you think the students benefited from the event? Ms.Gentile: “This year we had over 60 participants and the students really learned ways to prevent bullying. They also learned some facts about bullying. For example, they learned that 1 in 4 students are bullied each year. Kids who are bullied often have low self esteem. Students were able to learn about interesting statistics they may not have learned.”   How are the winners chosen? Ms.Gentile: “We use a rubric with different categories. Students that score the highest in each category are then selected as winners. We don’t pick favorites or randomly choose winners.”   What are some future goals? Ms.DiMatteo: “We were thinking of having students do book reviews on anti-bullying. This will encourage students to look up literature on anti-bullying. We would also like other students to become aware about the contest through posters and announcements.”   What did you enjoy most about the contest? Ms.Gentile: “I enjoyed seeing many students entering the contest and having fun doing it. The students’ efforts to incorporate technology to raise awareness on anti-bullying was really motivating. Ms.Agard is always a great supporter of this event. Each year her classes participate in the contest.” Ms.DiMatteo: “Students created a presentation that encourages students to seek help if they are being bullied. Some kids who are bullied are afraid to tell their parents or teachers. They keep quiet. The contestants inspired others to reach out for help.”   Ms.Gentile also talked about BRAVE, an anti-bullying organization. The UFT’s BRAVE campaign aims to combat bullying in our schools. It provides students, parents, and teachers with the tools and knowledge to confront and stop bullying. They can be contacted at 212-709-3222 between 2:30pm and 9:30pm. The New Dealer and FDR would like to congratulate the winners of the contest, as well as Ms.Gentile and Ms.DiMatteo, for supporting the campaign. This campaign is greatly appreciated by the entire FDR family.