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Dobbs Ferry's Springhurst A 'No Place For Hate' School

The "No Place For Hate" banner and award was presented to the Springhurst School in Dobbs Ferry on Thursday, May 29. Photo Credit: Springhurst School
Springhurst School Assistant Principal Lisa Doty makes the announcement about being named a "No Place For Hate School" Photo Credit: Springhurst School
Springhurst School music teacher George Swietlicki and his fourth-grade students performed their "All the Same" musical. Photo Credit: Springhurst School

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- The students, teachers and administration of Springhurst Elementary School stood proudly Thursday, May 29, when it was announced at a morning event that the school had been selected by the Anti-Defamation League as a 2013-14 “No Place for Hate School."

“When Superintendent Lisa Brady forwarded the 'No Place for Hate' initiative to me, it seemed like a perfect fit for Springhurst, as we have been working to develop a schoolwide environment of dignity and respect for many years,” said Springhurst Assistant Principal Lisa Doty, who made the announcement.

The award was announced with a banner presentation to the staff and students immediately following the fourth-grade anti-bullying musical performance of "All the Same," written by Springhurst music teacher and Harmonaires’ Choral Director George Swietlicki. The book and lyrics were written by Dobbs Ferry parents Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman.

As a member of the Dignity Act’s Task Force and Professional Development Committee, ADL New York recognized up to 100 schools throughout New York state and northern New Jersey for the 2013-14 school year through its No Place For Hate program.

"All The Same" tells the story of a young boy who manages to put an end to bullying in his school in a rather unexpected way.

"No Place For Hate" is designed to enhance a culture of respect and to create a safe, bully-free learning environment for students at all grade levels.

Springhurst staff members designed and implemented a schoolwide approach to expected school behaviors and participated annually in national Stomp Out Bullying Day, including anti-bullying discussions and students wearing blue shirts.

Students pledged to treat others with respect and kindness and participated in Building Bridges -- Celebrating Differences  -- a schoolwide disability awareness program designed to foster community with an emphasis on acceptance, compassion, understanding and inclusion.

The Sprinhurst family also joined in several other initiatives:

• Student government efforts to curtail bullying, including "EveryONE Counts" T-shirts. • Classroom lessons to increase students' anti-bullying and conflict resolution strategies. • Gradewide literacy units addressing bullying.

As part of these activities, last June Swietlicki took his show on the road, and Springhurst Elementary School joined forces with Concord Road Elementary School in Ardsley in the war against bullying.

“Every one of these anti-bullying initiatives is an important step in combatting bullying and creating a safe and positive environment for students to learn and thrive,” said Springhurst Principal Julia Drake. “We are so honored to be named a No Place For Hate School, and I want to thank the Anti-Defamation League for their recognition and support.” Link to promo video of "All The Same".

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