Congratulations Watauga Elementary, recipient of the September Kelso Grant!

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Congratulations to Watauga Elementary School for being chosen as the September recipient of the Kelso Grant! We are confident that school counselor Sharee Pitt will put the Building Character with Kelso Curriculum Kit to good use at her school.

We were inspired by Ms. Pitt’s motivation to find a fun and meaningful character education for her students, despite her school receiving very little funding. She writes, “Since coming to Watauga, the focus of many of my lessons is character education. I often search the Internet for catchy lesson ideas so that I can keep the attention of our students. I want my lessons to be meaningful and relevant to their daily lives. I feel that if we had the Building Character with Kelso curriculum at Watauga, guidance classes would always be meaningful and relevant and teachers would begin to understand the importance of classroom guidance.”

We were also inspired by the spirit of the school despite the circumstances. Every morning at Watauga, this is what the entire school hears on the loudspeaker:

Principal Armstrong: “Today we are here so that all of our students will learn. Students, why are you here?”
Students: “TO LEARN!”
Principal Armstrong: “And what works?”
Students: “EFFORT”
Principal Armstrong: “And how much effort are you going to give today?”
Students: “100%!”
Principal Armstrong: “because who are we?”
Students: “THE BRIGHTEST!”

Congratulations again to Watauga Elementary, and we wish you best of luck implementing the Building Character with Kelso Curriculum Kit at your school!

About the Kelso Grant
Diane Hipp and Barbara Clark, the authors of Kelso’s Choice, are professional school counselors with over 45 years of experience between them. When working with elementary-aged children, Barbara and Diane saw the need for a conflict resolution program and Kelso’s Choice was born. The Building Character with Kelso Kit was created later to expand on character education.

The mission of the Kelso Grant is to provide valuable bullying-prevention tools to schools in need, one school at a time! We are choosing a new grant recipient every month in 2013, keep checking our blog and Facebook page to see how to enter for the October Grant. Entries for the October grant will be accepted until Friday, November 1, 2013.

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kelso’s choice & learning magazine contest winners!

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Congratulations to the winners of our Kelso’s Choice contest with Learning Magazine! We have selected 7 winners to receive a complete Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Kit. The winners include Kayla Mason Perez of Children of America, Karen DuBois of Poland Spring Academy, Amy Bradford of McKinley Elementary, Margaret Huff of Burroughs Molette Elementary, Mary Young of James Marshall Elementary, Pam Colbrunn of Mckinley Elementary, and Lisa Sommer of Osceola Elementary.

For over 20 years, Kelso the Frog has been helping elementary and special needs children resolve conflicts on their own. Kelso’s Choice is based on the premise that every child is smart enough and strong enough to be a peacemaker. Children learn nine different ways to peacefully handle “small” conflicts, and learn reporting skills for “big” conflicts. It has been approved as a preliminary bullying prevention tool by school counselors and teachers worldwide!

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The Education Center, home of Learning Magazine, was founded in 1973 by Marge and Jake Michel, educators who saw a need for better classroom materials. They created resources in their spare time and a few years later, began producing a magazine full of their own ideas and ideas from other teachers. To see more resources and sign up for a subscription, visit their website here.

Thank you to everyone who entered our contest! The winners have been contacted individually and will be receiving their Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management kits in the next few weeks.

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kelso in the classroom!

Barbara Gruener, Counselor and Character Coach in Friendswood, Texas made this creative Kelso’s Choice visual for her class, including the clever addition of an arrow! Barbara explained, “It’s not meant to be a spinner, but a chance for each child to choose his/her choice and move his/her corresponding arrow to show what they’re leaning toward just before they negotiate!” What a wonderful idea!

“I’m so pleased with how this turned out,” said Barbara, “It really piqued our kindergarteners’ interest as I was swapping out the old board while they were in there. ‘Why are there frogs everywhere?’ is what they all wanted to know!”

Barbara even has her own blog, “The Corner on Character.” Check it out here.

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Cerebellum Corporation Receives 1st Homeschool.com Award for Kelso’s Choice

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The ‘Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Kit (4th Edition)’ curriculum successfully teaches elementary-aged children how to be peacemakers

San Francisco, CA—September 6, 2013—Cerebellum Corporation, the producer and distributor of award-winning educational curriculum, was recently honored with the 2013 Homeschool.com Award for Top Homeschool Curriculum for Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Kit (4th Edition). The curriculum helps children aged 5 – 11 learn how to solve conflict on their own. This is the first Homeschool.com award that Kelso’s Choice has received.

Ann Simpson of Homeschool.com has hailed Kelso’s Choice as “a very good program for a family—or for a homeschooling co-op or a support group program. It teaches conflict management—a skill your children will take with them for the rest of their lives. This is not just an anti-bullying program – it’s a life skills program in how to resolve conflicts. And I bet when you ask them, ‘What do you remember about your third grade studies?’ their answer will be ‘The frog lessons!’”

The Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Kit (4th Edition) curriculum teaches conflict resolution based on the premise that every child is strong enough and smart enough to be a peacemaker. Designed around Kelso the Frog, this program offers nine options children can choose from to resolve minor conflicts on their own. Students will be able to determine the difference between minor problems they can handle and serious problems that require an adult’s help. As kids mature, so does the curriculum. Beginning lessons and activities reflect the abilities and understanding of young children. As kids become pre-teens, the lessons become more complex and discuss conflicts more developmentally appropriate to the age range, such as friendship drama and internet threats.

“Our goal is to provide the best guidance and educational resources,” said James Rena, President of Cerebellum Corporation, “We are very proud of Kelso’s Choice, and it is an honor to receive recognition from the homeschooling community and Homeschool.com.”

Kelso’s Choice was created by Barbara Clark, Ph.D. and Diane Hipp, CPS – two former elementary school counselors with over 45 years of collective experience in the field. When working with children at the elementary level, Clark and Hipp saw the need for a simple and pragmatic conflict resolution program, and spent several years developing the Kelso’s Choice curriculum. For the last two decades, the Kelso’s Choice products have proven to be successful at eliminating tattling, improving sibling camaraderie, improving focus during instruction, and after recent updates, making children aware of threats on the internet and through texting.

About Homeschool.com and the Homeschool Award
For the past 14 years, Homeschool.com has helped homeschool families choose the best curriculum for their students by providing information about different programs and giving the Homeschool.com seal of approval. The Homeschool Award evaluates the best homeschool curriculums available and awards several top programs each year.

Pricing and Availability
The Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Curriculum (4th Edition) is available for $399.98 and includes a leader’s guide with lesson plans, the Kelso in Action DVD, a storybook, hand puppets, paper puppets and poster sets. Additional kits include The Kelso Booster Curriculum Kit ($149.98), which includes a DVD with additional scenarios, “The Choice is Right” card game, and new teacher’s guide and lesson plans, and The Kelso Counselor Activities Toolbox ($149.98), which includes a DVD with additional scenarios, a full-color “Willow Pond Storybook,” a workbook of activities, crafts, parents’ letters and reward charts and the Kelso “Hoppin’ Home” Board Game. These three kits may be purchased separately or in a set for $599.98. To see more Kelso items and to purchase, visit www.kelsoschoice.com.

About Cerebellum Corporation
Cerebellum Corporation distributes and produces topic-based educational videos for families and students of all grade levels. Cerebellum is also the distributor of Kelso’s Choice, a critically-acclaimed anti-bullying solution for grades K-5. Since 1992, Cerebellum has been a leader in the educational marketplace, producing hundreds of hours of educational media. In its 20 years, Cerebellum has received recognition for its high-quality content: garnered 32 Telly Awards, multiple prestigious Parents’ Choice Awards, and the respect and recommendation of thousands of parents, teachers, professors, and education professionals worldwide.

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Blue Ridge Primary School Receives August Kelso Grant!

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Congratulations Marcella Holmes, counselor of Blue Ridge Primary School, for being chosen as the August recipient of the Kelso Grant! We are confident that she will put the Building Character with Kelso Curriculum Kit to good use at her school.

“Thank you so much for awarding Blue Ridge Primary Elementary School the Kelso Grant!  My colleagues and I often ponder what will have the greatest impact and create change in our students who come from homes with incomes less than the poverty level, who speak limited English and often do not have hope for the future.  The answer is to provide a strong foundation of character at a young age.  We firmly believe if students learn the basic tenets of character: being caring, responsible, honest, fair, and respectful, then they can succeed in life.

At Blue Ridge Primary, we have all dedicated ourselves to teaching strong academics, but also to model personal characteristics that help students become good citizens, family members and employees.  With the curriculum, Building Character with Kelso, our entire staff can be on the same page, modeling vocabulary and actions that will help students reach their goals, and have fun doing it!  We can’t wait to get to work with Kelso and change the future of our school, community and beyond!”
– Marcella Holmes, Blue Ridge Counselor

About the Kelso Grant
Diane Hipp and Barbara Clark, the authors of Kelso’s Choice, are professional school counselors with over 45 years of experience between them. When working with elementary-aged children, Barbara and Diane saw the need for a conflict resolution program and Kelso’s Choice was born. The Building Character with Kelso Kit was created later to expand on character education.

The mission of the Kelso Grant is to provide valuable bullying-prevention tools to schools in need, one school at a time! We are choosing a new grant recipient every month in 2013, keep checking our blog and Facebook page to see how to enter for the September grant.

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using social media for change

Wilson To, a High School Senior at Atech High School in Las Vegas, Nevada wanted to do something to stop bullying at his school. What he started began as a simple idea: A place to share anonymous compliments. Now the “Atech Compliments” Facebook page has over 500 likes from his fellow students and he has even trained successors to take over his project after graduation.

“I wanted to make a page so people could communicate nice things to one another. A lot of quiet individuals don’t think much of what they do, but when they get compliments for things they didn’t realize about themselves, it helps to build self-esteem,” Wilson said.

Wilson secretly monitored the page for over a year without revealing his identity. When he was finally revealed as the founder, his fellow students posted this special message for him:

We are inspired by Wilson’s use of social media to create change in his school community. Although social media is often used to spread harm, stories like these show that social media is a powerful tool that can be used to spread positivity. To read the full article on Huffington Post, click here.

What other ways can people use social media to create positive change? Post your ideas in the comments below!

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Porum Elementary Wins July Kelso Grant

Congratulations to Cora Sherwood Fletcher, Principal of Porum Elementary School, for being chosen as the July recipient of the Kelso Grant! We were moved by your dedication to improving your students’ lives and the community as a whole.

Thank you so much, Kelso Grant Committee. My Elementary teachers are so excited that we have been chosen to receive this grant. We love our community and our school of 280 K-6th graders. My teachers are creative and always on the hunt for ways to improve our school and increase the services we offer our students. However, our first hurdle is always overcoming the financial challenge of funding such programs. This is grant is exactly what we need. Thank you again for providing us the opportunity to implement this in our school.” – Cora, Principal of Porum Elementary

The authors of Kelso’s Choice, Diane Hipp and Barbara Clark, have 45 years of combined experience between them as school counselors. When working with young children at the elementary level, Barbara and Diane saw the need for a simple and pragmatic conflict resolution program, and they were inspired to create Kelso’s Choice. The philosophy of the program reflects their belief in the intrinsic promise and capability of all individuals, as they have the power to make clear and positive choices in their lives

The mission of the Kelso Grant is to provide valuable bullying-prevention tools to schools in need – one school at a time. We are choosing a new grant recipient every month in 2013! Want to be considered for the August Kelso Grant? Find out how to enter here! We are accepting entries until September 2, 2013.

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Vote Kelso’s Choice for the Homeschool Award!

Kelso’s Choice is in the running for the 2013 Homeschool Award, an annual award recognizing the top homeschool curriculum! If you love Kelso’s Choice, please vote for us here!

The Kelso’s Choice Conflict Management Skills Program (4th Edition) teaches conflict resolution to elementary students and is based on the idea that every child is capable of becoming a peacemaker. Designed around Kelso the Frog, this program offers nine options students can choose from to resolve minor conflicts on their own. Students will be able to determine the difference between minor problems they can handle and serious problems that require an adult’s help.

[Kelso’s Choice] is a very good program for a family—or for a homeschooling co-op or a support group program. It teaches conflict management—a skill your children will take with them for the rest of their lives…This is not just an anti-bullying program…it’s a life skills program in how to resolve conflicts…. And I bet when you ask them, ‘What do you remember about your third grade studies?’ Their answer will be ‘The frog lessons!’
– Ann Simpson, Homeschool.com

We would be honored to win the Homeschool award. We need your help to win! Your votes count for 5% of the award decision. Please vote on Homeschool.com and share!

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Enter to receive the August Kelso Grant

Did you know that Kelso’s Choice and Cerebellum Corporation award a complete The Building Character with Kelso Curriculum Kit ($600 value) to a school in need every month?

If you are an educator working towards character education for elementary-aged students in the US, you are more than welcome to apply! This includes educators in schools, home school co-ops, counseling centers, after-school programs, day care centers, and libraries. We are particularly looking for institutions that demonstrate financial need and whose students would benefit the most from a character-building curriculum.

The Building Character with Kelso Curriculum Kit teaches elementary students to be honest, responsible, caring, fair, and respectful through examples. It contains differentiated instruction for lower and upper elementary students and introduces each positive trait while being fun and engaging.

We will be accepting letters for the August Kelso Grant from now until Monday, September 2, 2013. The winner will be announced the following week!

Grant recipients will be announced on our Facebook page or contacted directly and featured on our websites, so apply now!

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Providing Support to Bullying Victims

We spend a lot of time discussing preventing bullying these days. Keeping it from happening at all seems efficient and proactive after all. But supporting those victimized should also stay a priority in the minds of educators. As much as we can hope that our hard work eradicates bullying once and for all, it would be foolish not to realize that some kids will simply fall through the cracks. So how do we support bullying victims? Here are a few basic suggestions:

  1. Don’t minimize or underestimate the amount of damage that’s been done. Kids who have been taunted or teased or even physically assaulted are likely to feel some sort of shame, or as though they deserved the unfair treatment. As an adult, you are immediately seen as someone they can potentially trust and a quick slip of the tongue can be all it takes for them to internalize these feelings and disestablish trust.
  2. Let them know that they are not alone. Bullying affects many more people than we think and/or know. The most important thing for bullied kids can be simply knowing that they have people they can depend on and that others have been through similar experiences.
  3. Give them something to lean on and encouragement to get them back on their feet. Support is key of course. Students should be given the space to reestablish themselves though. Once the bullying is over and dealt with, the process of recovery starts. It may take some time, but with your help it will be possible.

These suggestions can be expanded on and added to of course. Let us know in the comments what you do to support your students!

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