The Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Collier County presented its 2012 Stand Up For Justice Educator Award prior to the Annual Meeting of the Federation on Tuesday, May 8.
Award presenter, Beth Povlow, of the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island, was instrumental in establishing the award in 2011 along with Ann Jacobson, Chair of the Community Relations Committee of the Federation. Beth noted. “Considering that all of the high schools and middle schools in the district were eligible, this is the second consecutive year that the prize has been taken by work done at Manatee Middle School.”
She acknowledged the leadership of Mrs. Peggy Aune, Principal of Manatee, for setting a “tone of love, warmth and respectful collegiality” in her school which inspires and supports creative education and respect among her teachers and staff.
Lisa Garby, 8th grade Manatee language arts teacher, was the 2011 winner for designing and implementing an inclusive and replicable program to counter bigotry and bullying. She nominated 2012 winners, Jonah Nicosia and Jennifer Correa, Guidance Counselors at Manatee Middle School, for expanding the Anti-Bullying Program at Manatee.
Jennifer and Jonah worked throughout the year to add many new features and activities to the existing program. A particularly meaningful project was a series of skits with students acting out incidents of bullying followed by classroom discussion. Bullying Prevention Guides which include available resources were handed out to students. Certain days of the week have been designated for reflection about tolerance and Random Acts of Kindness which promote tolerance and civil behavior.
Jennifer and Jonah worked with community agencies like the Shelter for Abused Women and Children to promote and reinforce kindness and tolerance in all human relationships. The Anti-Bullying program at Manatee meets the standard of the Federation to educate students to “Stand up for Justice” no matter what religious, racial, cultural or other differences exist.