There are hundreds of anti-bullying programs out there that are used in elementary and middle schools across the nation. What makes this one different? With more than 70 schools and over 7,000 students in a case study in Findland, the KIVa anti-bullying program has proven to be one of the most effective in the world. Kiva in Finnish means "nice", and because this program uses role-playing and skits to encourage students who are normally bystanders to participate, it encourages them to feel more empathic and supportive towards children who are bullied and threatened. Because this program is helping students to be kinder towards one another, it's now being tested in other countries.
I personally feel that role-playing is an extremely positve and effective tool for teaching kids ways of acting out real life scenarios. It helps them gain a more concrete awareness of what it really feels like to be tormented, ridiculed, excluded and targeted by perpetrators. What could be more helpful than teaching children how to be more empathic? Bravo to the authors of this successful study, one including a UCLA grad student, and plans for this anti-bullying program to be evaluated here in the U.S.!