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Words Matter Week in San Ramon Valley schools

School district recognizes effort to raise awareness about power of words

San Ramon Valley schools are celebrating Words Matter Week this week to create awareness regarding the power of words.

"Schools will promote acceptance and respect for each other's differences through a dialogue and activities centered on both kindness and bullying," school district officials said in a press release.

Each school will host its own activities throughout the week, such as students writing kind notes to each other, conversations about bullying, photo displays, paper chain bracelets with kind words and dramatizations of the "Words Matter" theme.

Bollinger Canyon Elementary School will dress up in clothes this week to raise awareness and generate excitement through their participating students. On Friday this week, students and staff will dress up in their favorite sports attire to signify they are all on the same "team," and therefore, should team up against bullying.

Once you pushed send, you can never take it back. For some reason, all these people lack the common decency to truly take it back, one student said in the video.

Along with Bollinger Canyon, Danville's Montair Elementary School invited the school community into "kindness tunnel." Faculty, staff, students and their families joined in going through a kindness tunnel that cheered on students once they arrived at school, district officials said.

This year marks the third year that Charlotte Wood Middle School has participated in the celebration of the power of words. At the school, one of the student activities was a Words Matter writing contest.

The 8th grade winner for the writing contest was Abby Hasselbrink for her "I Have a Dream" by Martln Luther King Jr. writing entry and 7th grader Kate Bemis won for her entry "Out of the Box."

Along with the writing contest, positivity banners will be displayed during the lunch period at the middle school that include positive sayings, signatures and recording words that make a difference to the students.

Dougherty Valley High showcased a two-minute video on their school website to honor Words That Matter week. The video portrayed three students who showcased the power of words through bullying, even through a text message.

Participating schools aim to promote acceptance and respect for each student's differences in the community, officials said.

The high school also posted on their Instagram page about Words That Matter week and encourage the school community to post a picture on Instagram of someone they appreciate.

The San Ramon Valley school board passed a resolution last month in honor of Words Matter Week, supporting the district's ongoing effort to make its schools safe for students and free from bullying behavior.

The resolution states, in part, that during the week, "district schools, classrooms, teachers, students, parents and the broader community be encouraged to engage in a variety of awareness and prevention activities and curriculum designed to make our community safer for all children and adolescents."

The Danville Police Department and the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District will also be joining in on the festivities this week, along with volunteers, school district officials said. The week is co-sponsored by the district's Climate Committee and the San Ramon Valley Council of Parent-Teacher Associations' Inclusion and Diversity Committee.

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