Elementary students learn respect for others, themselves

Photo by Daniel Heraty

Super U! Challenge
Brandy Linn (third from left) and her husband, Chris (fourth from left), show William Ford Elementary School students how to have fun with slime during the Super U! Challenge.

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – A group of William Ford Elementary School second- and third-graders had fun while learning Wednesday.

Students participated in games as part of the Super U! Challenge, a 45-minute interactive program that teaches them how to become better friends and avoid bullying.

Founded in 2004, Super U! is presented and produced through Midwest School Shows, and puts on educational shows for schools all across the Midwest, including Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. It is aimed at preventing physical, verbal and online bullying and teaches bullies how to change their behavior.

“Obviously, if we change the behavior … you can be kinder to others,” resource teacher Samir Dakhlallah said. “Our goal is to help everybody out.”

Dakhlallah said other similar programs have been held at the school before.

“(At the) one before this one … a gentleman came in and talked about how he was bullied as a child, and the scars it left on him,” he said. “We’re trying to send the message out to the kids, that we want you to feel comfortable at school.

“School’s a fun place. We want you to come and learn.”

Dakhlallah said school officials also want to reinforce the idea that children can seek help from adults to deal with bullying.

“If you’re having problems, there are plenty of adults out there that can help,” he said. “There’s teachers, there’s your parents, there’s resource teachers, there’s the principal … many different resources out there so you can get the help you need.”

Through games like dressing up as their own personal superheroes and working in teams of four to pass along a slippery water baton, program organizers said children could enjoy themselves while they were being taught important values.

Midwest School Shows said in a statement: “Taking a cue from popular kids TV game shows on Nickelodeon, as well as the NBC hit ‘Minute To Win It’, the Super U! Challenge invites students to participate in wacky, fun and funny physical challenges and hands-on games.”

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at dheraty@bewickpublications.com.)