Bully-free Me

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Contrary to the common belief, childhood bullying is not just a part of development that everyone goes through. For many kids it is a constant pain that often leads to psychological issues and insecurities in adulthood. Genia Narinskaya collaborated with local elementary schools to collect data and feedback. She designed a system that will promote mutual appreciation among children ages 8-10. Based on a game-like exchange of cards, the project facilitates a learning experience that teaches students be friendly and stand up for other people. The cards are supported by a set of posters that also reinforce the idea of humanity and acceptance.

Genia Narinskaya
Process Blog

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December 8, 2011
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Each student is given a set of five colorful cards that carry positive messages. Every time a student gets helped or protected, or just wants to show appreciation, he or she is encouraged to give a card to the kid that was nice and supportive.
The front of the card displays an image iconic to the message it represents. The drawings were made by second and third grade students of Sunflower Elementary School in Lenexa, Kansas. Holes are punched for convenience,allowing the kids to carry the cards
The cards carry the following messages: "Thanks for standing up for me","Thanks for sharing","Thanks for being a good friend", "Thanks for taking care of me" and "Good job".
A "puzzle" is created when the cards are placed together. An additional level of discovery makes it more interesting and interactive. The new shape unites the cards, suggesting community and trust. The colors are made to appeal to the target audience.
A series of large posters (image not to scale) that also utilize student drawings support the cards. The posters reinforce such values as tolerance and equality by displaying drawings made by ALL the kids who participated in the project.

Bullies do not torture kids alone. They always have a group of on-lookers who support them. A lot of the times children don't stand up for the bullied child in fear of becoming the bully's target. How can the children be encouraged to support and appreciate their peers while engaging in a fun activity?


Diamond-shaped cards display drawings of a local elementary school students that illustrate such virtues as standing up for someone, sharing, looking after someone and doing a good job. The cards are exchanged between students to encourage these virtues. The back side of the cards have space designed for recipients' names.