POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - The Stand for the Silent group at Poplar Bluff High started visiting elementary school students in January to read children's books with messages about anti-bullying, which is the club's mission.
About 10 club members visited Eugene Field last week, and Lake Road two weeks prior, with a desire to include Oak Grove and O'Neal in the future.
"The group is generally there to care for other kids," said mental health therapist Cindy Moses, the club's community sponsor. "If you start with kids at this age, you plant that seed and maybe they'll remember this."
In collaboration with Detective Scott Phelps of the Poplar Bluff Police Department, Moses has been involved since the establishment of the Human Heroes chapter of the national organization at Poplar Bluff Junior and Senior High during the 2012 school year. She makes time before the school day to meet bi-monthly with the student group, along with faculty sponsors Julie Carda and Angie Page.
At Eugene Field, one of the books read was "Enemy Pie" by Derek Munson, with a moral about the adage "to kill with kindness." After the reading, club vice president Calli Gerber held a discussion with the elementary students, asking why the lead character of the story served a delicious pie to his bully rather than seeking revenge.
"To become his friend," second grader Abby Kearbey responded. Abby was one of several students who had read the book before on a library program the class has utilized.
Eugene Field Principal Jennifer Taylor said the visit goes hand in hand with weekly anti-bullying lessons taught as part of the school's Positive Behavior Support curriculum in an effort to help "develop the whole child," meeting social and emotional needs in addition to educational objectives.