Joyce Kilmer Elementary School has been designated as “No Place For Hate” after completing a year of anti-bias and anti-bullying programs. To earn this distinction, the school formed a No Place for Hate committee, adopted a resolution pledging to create a more inclusive school and implemented a number of projects promoting respect for differences.
Kilmer’s projects began during the Week of Respect, when students participated in a variety of activities to gain a sense of community and celebrate diversity. These activities included reading several books teaching lessons on defining respect, responsibility and how to be safer and more caring towards others. They also create a mural outside of the cafeteria including every student’s named and reminding them they are strong together like a brick wall.
For their second project, the students went to school-wide monthly celebration assemblies, which included student performances where they defined the tenets for the No Place for Hate promise and acted them out.
During the final project, Building a Peaceful, Caring Community, students participated in a number of activities, including a letter writing assignment to children suffering from childhood cancer and reading those children’s bios about what their life is like.
This is the fourth year Kilmer has received the designation. Kilmer was the first school to receive the honor in New Jersey.