As a kickoff to Gardiners Avenue Elementary School’s “Get a Voice” character education program, Levittown students were treated to a performance by actress Lyle Cogen in “Sticks and Stones,” an original play commissioned by the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts about how a person’s behavior determines whether he or she is the bully, the bullied or the bystander.
The energetic play, which features back-and-forth communication between the audience and Ms. Cogen, incorporated many of the strategies and power phrases taught to students by the district in bullying situations.
“By standing up and speaking up, you become an ally, or an upstander,” Ms. Cogen said. “Bullying stops now; it is not allowed.”During the assembly, Ms. Cogen called students to the stage to play the “Step into It” game. The student-actors pretended to be in a typical bullying situation in school. Subsequent students were then called upon to use power phrases to diffuse the situation.