Feb 07, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Students at Burton Street Elementary School laughed, sang and learned last week that “Good Character is Cool” during a character education assembly featuring the educational concert of the Hill Brothers.
The Hill Brothers, a group out of Buffalo, use original songs, interactive dialogue, humor and audience activities to teach elementary students about bullying, health and wellness, the importance of reading and character education, according to their website. They promote the principles of respect, responsibility and teamwork in their 40-minute program they have been bringing to schools in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio for 35 years.
The two members of the Hill Brothers group who came to Cazenovia Jan. 31 to perform — Susie Rozler and Judd Sunshine — said they had never been to Cazenovia before, and were so impressed by the town and how happy everyone was that they wanted to live here.
Rozler and Sunshine performed their anti-bullying program, and sang songs such as “There’s no place for bullies in our school,” “We will help” and “Vicious Vinnie.” Sunshine told the students there were three kinds of bullies: physical bullies who push people around, bullies who use words to hurt people both in person and on the computer (“One thing you have to realize is that words can sometimes hurt as much as a punch,” he said,) and bullies who leave others out.
Rozler and Sunshine told the students that when they see someone being bullied, they can choose to ignore it or they can choose to help by intervening or telling a teacher or adult. “Don’t just be a bystander, stand by them,” Sunshine said. “And not only can you give help, but don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help either.”
During the show the Hill Brothers sang songs and had the students sing along, they gave the students gestures and activities to do while they sang — during one song they told everyone to stand and then to sit every time a word with the letter “B” was used on the song — and at the end everyone got on their feet and danced.
Not only were the students engaged in the show, but all the teachers present sang, danced and participated as well, much to the enjoyment of the students.
“It was just a fun assembly, very engaging for the students and for the adults,” said Burton Street Principal Mary-Ann MacIntosh.
Music teacher Victoria Johnson, who has been teaching her students the songs used by the Hill Brothers during their programs, said she thought the program was a great way to bring the school together.
“The kids did a great job, they had a lot of fun learning it,” Johnson said. “The songs are catchy and they have a fabulous message.”
Shannon Meagher, a reading specialist and a member of the character education committee that brought the Hill Brothers to Burton Street, said the assembly was part of the school’s anti-bullying and caring themes the students have been learning as part of character education.
“Anti-bullying can be so negative, but this is just so much fun,” Meagher said.
The Hill Brothers program was sponsored by the Burton Street PTA.
For more information about the Hill Brothers or to purchase their music cds, visit hillbrothers.net.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.