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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 Anti-Bullying Campaign began a new project year in early February with the Ambassadors for Respect preparing classroom kits for the 12 schools that will be participating this year. Thirteen schools will be participating this year.

Returning schools include Cowern, Richardson, and Parkview Center (North St. Paul); Willow Lane, Otter Lake, Vadnais Heights, and Matoska International (White Bear Lake); St. John the Baptist (New Brighton); Little Canada (Little Canada); Brimhall (Roseville); and Harambee Cultural Communities and Environmental Science School. A new partnership has begun with Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul.

St. John the Baptist in New Brighton is the first school to receive PeaceMaker Foundation funding.

The first training sessions were held at Richardson Elementary School on February 13, 2017 followed a week later with training sessions at Willow Lane.

Seven Ambassadors for Respect, including one self advocate who will be a first time teacher/trainer, will rotate through the participating schools during this project year.

On February 13, 2017, three sessions were held at Richardson Elementary School with a total of 92 students and four teachers.  A sample of student comments included:

“I learned a lot because it’s not okay to bully. I got to feel what that might look like and I did not like the feeling.”

“Thank you for encouraging me not to bully.”

“I do not say any bad things about others.”

“I gave you all 5s because it is nice to learn about different people. We are all the same!”

Ambassadors for Respect

On February 20, 2017three sessions were held at Willow Lane Elementary School with a total of 84 students and three teachers.  A sample of student comments included:

“Thank you for telling us ow to not bully…  the games we did it was very fun and awesome… thank you for telling us your personal stories and how you felt. It makes me feel good since I wasn't the only one that was bullied by other kids.”

“I really liked how you set a number on how many people you would call on.”

“I liked it.  I love the part you told how you grew up and the speeches at the end… I usually feel the same because I’m a different skin so thank you for coming.”

Ambassadors for Respect
Ambassadors for Respect

On March 13, 2017, three sessions were held at Matoska International School with a total of 81 students and three teachers. A sample of student comments included:

“I like you coming here and I will stop bullying… I hope you will be safe.”

“You are all great and teached me something great.  It is always use kind words to other people.”

“You taught us all to respect everyone no matter what and that helped our class a lot.”

“I learned that no one is perfect and everyone is unique in their own way so thank you Ambassadors for Respect.”

Ambassadors for Respect - Matoska

On March 30, 2017, four sessions were held at Little Canada Elementary School with a total of 98 students and three teachers participating. A sample of student comments included:

“I think they should keep on spreading kindness and love and peace. I have put the pin on my backpack. None of them deserved what happened to them.”

“This means a lot to me because knowing I have a person in my family who has a disability.”

“Thanks for taking the time out of your stay to talk about respect.”

“This information was very helpful. I will not pick on anyone.”

“They taught me how to use [People] 1st language but I haven’t used it yet.”

Ambassadors for Respect - Little Canada
Ambassadors for Respect - Little Canada
Ambassadors for Respect - Little Canada
Ambassadors for Respect - Little Canada

On April 13, 2017, three sessions were held at Vadnais Heights Elementary School with a total of 81 students and four teachers participating. A sample of student comments included:

“I loved listening to your messages. I am sorry you got teased. I want to help people that are bullied.”

“I like when I put the paper of bad words in there because it made me feel better. And you guys make me feel better.”

“I really liked your presentation. This helped me a lot. It really helped me when I shred up the mean words.”

“I really liked when you shared your stories. I really feel mad and upset that people bully your guys because you are really nice. Always remember be who you are.”

Ambassadors for Respect - Vadnais Heights

On April 20, 2017, three sessions were held at Parkview Elementary School with a total of 84 students and six teachers participating. A sample of student comments included:

““Thank you. Your message was an important one, never stop doing what you know is right.”

“I really enjoyed your presentation. I never knew that handicap was a bad word, but now I know.”

“I liked when we got to write how we are going to help on the stars. Thank you.”

“My brother’s in special education. Thank you for coming and sharing your important stories with us! I’m sorry they treated you like that. You deserve respect.”

“I feel like a better person. I’m going to make some adjustments in my vocabulary.”

Ambassadors for Respect - Parkview
Ambassadors for Respect - Parkview
Ambassadors for Respect - Parkview

On May 5, 2017, three sessions were held at St. John’s Elementary School. A total of 56 students and three teachers participated. A sample of student comments included:

“I think this was awesome because I learned a lot in just one hour.”

“It got me to respect people with disabilities more.”

“I really liked how we got to participate in the presentation with the presenters.”

“You must really care about people getting bullied.”

Ambassadors for Respect - St. John’s Elementary School

On May 11, 2017, two sessions were held at Birch Lake Elementary School. A total of 62 students and three teachers participated. A sample of student comments included:

“It was very good. I don’t like people who bully me.”

“This helped me a lot and I liked making many connections. My favorite part was shredding the hurtful words.”

“I like when you guys say not to be mean.”

“I liked doing the kindness activity.”

Ambassadors for Respect - Birch Lake

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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.