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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Council-Sponsored Grant Activities:
Self Advocacy – Ambassadors for Respect Anti-Bullying Campaign

Ambassadors for Repect

The Ambassadors for Respect are continuing the Anti-Bullying Campaign this year, leading training sessions for 4th grade elementary school students about how to deal with and address bullying issues. Training sessions will be held at nine elementary schools between March and May 2015. A session will also be held with 5th graders at Vadnais Heights Elementary School. Teachers and paraprofessionals also participate so they can reinforce the tips and tools that students learn.

March 5, 2015

Two sessions were held at Little Canada Elementary School with a total of 56 students and three teachers. A sample of student comments included:

"I am glad that I saw the presentation because it made me feel better because I got called 'weird' before and I will not be sad anymore."

"It changed how I felt about people that are different."

"It helped me not get bullied anymore and you are very BRAVE for sharing personal things like that."

Ambassadors for Respect
Ambassadors for Respect
Ambassadors for Respect
Ambassadors for Respect
Ambassadors for Respect

March 31, 2015

Six Ambassadors for Respect, three of whom are new to the teacher/trainer pool this year, led the four training sessions at Matoska International Elementary School. Five teachers and 100 students were introduced to the Anti-Bullying Campaign. Everyone participated in a series of interactive activities about accepting differences and self advocacy, as well as the concepts of self determination, respect, and inclusion.

Ambassadors for Respect - Matoska
Ambassadors for Respect- Matoska

April 9, 2015

A total of 82 students and three teachers participated in training sessions at Vadnais Heights Elementary School. A sample of teacher and student comments included:

"Your message is powerful! You inspire us all to be Ambassadors for Respect!"

"You guys are all beautiful and handsome and unique in your own ways. Thank you for the awesome presentation."

"You guys are the best. They feel like a family to me. They had the best information."

"Thank you for coming and teaching me about respect and bullying."

Ambassadors for Respect - Matoska
Ambassadors for Respect April 9
Ambassadors for Respect April 9
Ambassadors for Respect April 9
Ambassadors for Respect April 9

April 29, 2015

Eighty-four students and three teachers participated in three training sessions at Willow Lane Elementary School. Both the school principle and psychologist also sat in on one of the sessions. Comments from the students included the following:

"I liked you guys. It was an experience of a lifetime. You guys reminded me of my great-aunt who couldn't see or hear, or walk on her own, but she was still important to me."

"I thought it would be another one of those bullying talks but it wasn't. Thank you for coming."

"You made me feel good about myself and gave me good information.

Ambassadors for Respect April 29
Ambassadors for Respect April 29

May 5, 2015

Due to a bullying incident involving 4th grade students during the previous school year, followup with additional training is being provided to 5th grade students to increase their awareness and help them understand the consequences of bullying. A total of 57 students and five teachers participated in training sessions at Vadnais Heights Elementary School. Student comments included the following:

"I liked when we were in small groups to discuss certain situations."

"I now know where some of the hurtful words came from and why we should not use them when we talk about people with disabilities."

"Thanks for all the help and it was really well presented and it was helpful to me."

"I learned a lot about the history of people with disabilities.""

Ambassadors for Respect - Vadnais Heights Elementary School
Ambassadors for Respect - Vadnais Heights Elementary School

May 9, 2015

A total of 54 students and two teachers participated in training sessions at St. John the Baptist Elementary School. Teacher and student comments included the following:

"Thank you for coming to our school. I enjoyed it and learned a new life lesson."

"It really makes me brave and strong so that now I can stand up to bullies."

"I loved it. It really made me change my thoughts about people with disabilities."

"I love the Ambassadors for Respect. My brother has autism and it really helps me know that people will not want to pick on him!!!"

"My favorite activity was shredding the hurtful words. I liked it because it was good to get those words out of my system."

Ambassadors for Respect - St. John the Baptist Elementary School
Ambassadors for Respect - St. John the Baptist Elementary School

May 14, 2015

A total of 56 students and two teachers participated in training sessions at Birch Lake Elementary School. Teacher and student comments included the following:

"The Ambassadors for Respect did a wonderful job. I thought it was a very effective presentation. Thank you."

"I liked learning more about how to treat people better."

"I learned that you should not bully someone just because they are different. Hurtful words can hurt people's feelings."

Ambassadors for Respect - Birch Lake Elementary School
Ambassadors for Respect - Birch Lake Elementary School

May 14, 2015

A total of 121 students and seven teachers participated in training sessions at Otter Lake Elementary School. Teacher and student comments included the following:

"Great job! The presentation teaches the students a lot!"

"I learned to be more respectful and understanding."

"I have been bullied before and I have been a little bit of a bully (not that much though). I really enjoyed leaning. I promise I will never bully anyone ever again. I will always say person with."

"I learned and I hope some people that have bullied me can learn something about RESPECT!"

"I liked learning about your personal stories and how you overcame the bullying that had happened."

Ambassadors for Respect - Otter Lake Elementary School
Ambassadors for Respect - Otter Lake Elementary School
Ambassadors for Respect - Otter Lake Elementary School
Ambassadors for Respect - Otter Lake Elementary School

June 3, 2015

A total of 67 students and 2 teachers participated in training sessions at Cowern Elementary School. Teacher and student comments included the following:

"I liked how everybody got a turn to talk and share their ideas and thoughts."

"It helped me learn that hurtful words can really hurt people's feelings."

"That was a very good opportunity to learn about bullying and how to stop it."

Ambassadors for Respect - Cowern Elementary School
Ambassadors for Respect - Cowern Elementary School

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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.