Posted By Bob Knotts on September 17, 2014
The Humanity Project long has worked closely with students — in many different ways. Now in the 2014-15 school year we have a great team of student volunteers through a new high school, all focused on spreading the word about our truly innovative I Care: Just Let Me Drive program.
Team I Care at Monarch High School
As you may know, this Humanity Project teen driver safety program avoids scare tactics, which research consistently shows are counterproductive with both adults and kids. No one wants to dwell on scary feelings, meaning lessons that try to teach with scare tactics quickly are pushed out of people’s minds. Instead I Care taps into a student’s need for social approval through a program that relies on friendship and positive peer pressure. It’s those pleasant feelings of friendship that bring about changed behavior behind the wheel, reducing distracted driving along with the accidents, injuries and deaths that too often accompany it.
So we’re thrilled to have an amazing team helping us reach many more teens during the next several months, right into June 2015. Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida, near Fort Lauderdale, is lucky to have an accomplished DECA marketing club led by the dynamic Greg Kennedy. He’s a teacher full of wonderful ideas and great enthusiasm for making the world a better place. An equally dynamic young woman named Rina is the team’s student leader, joined by Kevin and Andres as you see in the photo. They’re a smart bunch. Together with the Humanity Project, they’re exploring ways both conventional and unconventional to get teens using our program … which just may save lives. It’s very early in the year and the hard work is still ahead of us. But we’re confident that Team I Care will make a big difference. Our I Care sponsors, State Farm and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, give the support that allows us to provide the program for free. Monarch High School also plans some fundraising efforts for us throughout the year, which will help a lot. So for now, we just wanted to introduce you to our newest student and teacher team members. And to say, stay tuned. We’re expecting some remarkable things.
Posted By site administrator on September 8, 2014
(Editor’s Note: This post was adapted from an article in the September 2014 edition of the Humanity Project newsletter. Our organization’s free newsletter comes out through email once a month. You can sign up for the newsletter in the right-hand column of this web page by clicking and providing us with your email address. No other information is requested.)
Like so many worldwide, Humanity Project members were inspired by the brilliant work of Robin Williams. His improvisational humor as well as his acting in films such as Dead Poets Society entertained and enlightened millions. As a nonprofit that teaches through the arts, the Humanity Project honors the memory of that remarkable artist with our newest original musical work. This piano improvisation for Robin Williams reflects our appreciation for his private struggles and his contributions. As the description says for our new YouTube musical post: “Music for Robin Williams by Robert Spencer Knotts, Humanity Project founder. On Aug. 12, 2014, one day after Mr. Williams’ death, this piece was composed spontaneously without interruptions in tribute to the man we didn’t really know.”
And we also want to use this brief blog to remember that suicide prevention continues to improve — and that the Humanity Project now offers a national crisis hotline through our www.thp4kids.com website. You can listen to our short musical tribute at this link: Listen to the original composition, “Funnyman.”
Posted By Bob Knotts on August 28, 2014
As the school year begins, our friends at State Farm are busy working with students as usual. And as their partner in helping prevent teen traffic accidents, the Humanity Project is happy to help promote State Farm’s 2014 edition of the Celebrate My Drive campaign. We recently recorded a podcast with Jose Soto, the company’s terrific public affairs specialist in Florida. Jose is a good friend of the community — and the Humanity Project. In the new podcast, we discuss Celebrate My Drive as well as the Humanity Project’s innovative I Care: Just Let Me Drive program. You can catch the entertaining podcast by clicking on this link: Listen to the podcast. This year’s Celebrate My Drive will involve high schools all over the United States, each one registered at no cost through State Farm to take part in the contest. Those schools that collect the highest number of safe driving commitments will win grants of as much as $100,000. The top two schools also receive a concert from The Band Perry – performed at their school. To register, just go to the Celebrate My Drive website: Visit Celebrate My Drive. At the Humanity Project, we believe that Celebrate My Drive helps to engage thousands more teens in an effort to make driving safer for themselves and their peers. Remember, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among teens, killing more young people than cancer, homicide and suicide combined. That’s a powerful incentive for all of us to do what we can to stop these tragedies. Celebrate My Drive is one part of the solution and we are proud to be State Farm’s partner in the campaign.
Posted By Bob Knotts on August 21, 2014
We love to get comments from you. So today, we’re reminding you the easiest ways to do that. Comments, questions, suggestions, constructive advice — all are welcomed by everyone at the Humanity Project. One quick route to our attention is by going to the Contact page, which you’ll find among the horizontal menu listings above. There’s both a phone number and an email address: email@example.com. Just give us a shout by phone or email. Then we have all kinds of social media where you can send us a comment or post your thoughts. Here’s a list of those addresses for you:
So yes, remember that we love to hear from you any time. Drop us a comment soon, won’t you?
Posted By Bob Knotts on August 12, 2014
We were very pleased to get yet more confirmation recently that our acclaimed Anti-bullying Through The Arts program works — and sticks in the minds of kids for a long time! We received a lovely email from a guidance counselor who has twice brought the Humanity Project into her elementary school to present our program. And we wanted to share that email with you here:
“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the amazing and unforgettable Anti-bullying program presented to our Endeavour Primary Learning Center students last school year – 2013-2014. As the school’s guidance counselor, I often go into the classroom to discuss this very important topic (bullying) and I find that the students always revert or refer to the Humanity Project’s presentation (the students often repeat the phrases, songs – “No Bullying around”and discuss scenes from the skits) This presentation catered to all the styles of learning (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) and as a result, the students were able to retain information presented. Because of the positive and motivational impact of this program, we are hoping that you will be able to present the program once again during the new school year, 2014-2015.
As always, thank you.
Sherine Davis, Guidance Counselor / Endeavour Primary Learning Center”
Thanks so much, Ms. Davis — we know you to be a fine guidance counselor and we’re pleased to bring our program to your school again this year. Most of all, we’re happy to hear once more that Anti-bullying Through The Arts offers lessons that truly change student attitudes about bullying in the schools we visit. As you may know by now, the Humanity Project is an empirically based organization, relying on scientific research as well as our own direct experience to fashion programs in innovative ways. For this reason, we’ve always conducted pre and post testing for Anti-bullying Through The Arts. Those test scores over the past five years show impressive results and, by the way, we’re happy to give those results to anyone who wants to see the numbers. For now, though, we hope you’ll share this blog with friends or colleagues who may want to bring the Humanity Project’s Anti-bullying Through The Arts program to their school. It really does work!
Posted By Bob Knotts on August 1, 2014
As we enter August, the Humanity Project looks forward to busy days ahead. Very busy indeed. That’s because much of our work takes place in the schools, one way or another. We present our Anti-bullying Through The Arts program to elementary school kids. We take our I Care: Just Let Me Drive program to high school students. And our great new website for socially isolated youth, www.thp4kids.com, will be heavily promoted in the 2014-15 school year too, with an eye toward attracting more young people who can benefit from this student-made resource. We often work with students to create our programs, like the group of kids in that photo to the right. They performed in our first big anti-bullying music video, which now is used around the United States and Canada. So yep, the beginning of school means the beginning of our busiest season, starting in mid-August and continuing right through June. We’re excited to get going. And since you’re already on our website, please make sure to check out the many resources posted here that can help your kids as they return to the classroom. It is all free. There’s never a charge for any Humanity Project program, something we can do because of our great sponsors. So a big thanks to them as the school bell rings … and thanks to you as well. Your interest in the Humanity Project helps us to help many more kids by spreading our materials to your friends, family and students. And we appreciate it.
Posted By Bob Knotts on July 24, 2014
Teen who hasn't taken the I Care program, but needs it!
We found this very encouraging. The National Safety Council reported in their Summer 2014 newsletter that the public at last seems to be awakening to the dangers of texting while driving. And there is support for tough penalties. As you may remember, the Humanity Project created a wonderful program to discourage teenagers from distracted driving. We call it, I Care: Just Let Me Drive, a program developed by teenagers under our guidance to motivate their peers. More teens die from auto accidents than any other cause. But it’s not only kids. We all see adults doing wacky things on the roads — everything except paying attention to their driving. Here’s the brief article, word for word, from the National Safety Council newsletter. We hope you find it as hopeful as we do:
“New findings from a National Safety Council public opinion poll indicate 73% of respondents think there should be more enforcement of texting laws, while only 22% said the current level of enforcement is fine. When asked what type of penalties they’d like to see, 52% of poll participants chose penalties including a point system that could lead to the loss of a driver’s license or increased insurance costs, 51% were in favor of different levels of penalties for first vs. repeat offenses and half thought large monetary fines should be used. For years, there has been widespread opposition to texting behind the wheel. Polls like these show the public is behind stronger penalties as most people recognize that it will take more than awareness campaigns to stop this dangerous behavior. About 5% of crashes are estimated to involve texting while driving. However, talking on a cell phone, either hands-free or handheld, is estimated to be involved in 21% of crashes. Continue spreading the message that hands-free is not risk-free, so the public can understand the true dangers of the cell phone conversation as well.” Encouraging news indeed. The Humanity Project supports this effort to make our roads safer for all of us. We hope you’ll share the link to this blog with your friends and family … and add your voice to the growing call for laws that will help stop texting while driving.
Posted By Bob Knotts on July 16, 2014
Can you spare 54 seconds? Just 54 seconds to watch something inspiring? Yes, of course, I know. We’re all busy. Very busy. And we’re all inundated with this and that coming to us through our computers. This joke from a friend, that link from a colleague. Or whatever. But this particular link is something created by a special student who has worked with the Humanity Project for the past three years.
Her name is Kayla, an openly gay student and president of a Gay-Straight Alliance chapter at a South Florida high school. Kayla has graduated now. But before leaving South Plantation High School last spring, she put together this video for our www.thp4kids.com website — a site built from the ground up by magnet school students especially for their peers who may feel socially isolated, including LGBT students. If you’ve not checked out the website, please do. But for now, well, maybe you can start with “Kayla’s Song,” as she titled it. We believe you’ll feel it was 54 seconds well spent.
Posted By Bob Knotts on July 8, 2014
Anti-bullying Through The Arts in action!
Yes, indeed. The Humanity Project’s highly regarded Anti-bullying Through The Arts program has generated many free materials to help you deal with bullying, especially if you’re a parent worried about aggression in school. Those resources are as close as another mouse click. Just look over in the right-hand column of this home page. Beneath our “head” logo and the signup for our email newsletter, you’ll find a listing of major pages on this website. Scroll down 11 items under Pages, until you find something called, “Anti-bullying Advice For Parents.” Additional anti-bullying writings are there too, including articles by our Humanity Project Board Vice President, Dr. Laura Finley of Barry University.
But that’s not all. Not by any means. Open up our Videos/Music page, also here on this website. All-original Humanity Project anti-bullying videos are posted and so is our own anti-bullying rap song, which kids love by the way. Or click on our YouTube link toward the top left of the home page. Lots of anti-bullying videos there, all of them created by us … and available to you at no cost. Or maybe your teens would enjoy our website created by their peers: www.thp4kids.com. It offers them a large anti-bullying section to explore. All in all, we have much material that can help you and your kids to better handle school bullying. As always, we have to thank our sponsors for their financial support, which makes this possible for us to do free of charge. One hundred percent of our money goes into our programs. We’re proud of that. And we hope you’ll make good use of our anti-bullying information and other works whenever you may need them.
Posted By Bob Knotts on June 30, 2014
Oh yes … We’d love to have you as our guest. Meaning, as an official Humanity Project Guest Blogger! You may have noticed in recent weeks that we’ve been posting guest blogs more frequently. Just scroll down a bit and you’ll find some of them. As an author of 24 books, and founder of the Humanity Project, I have been writing most of the blogs for our organization since we began in 2005. But I love welcoming other voices, other perspectives to our large and informative website. Voices such as Lisa Bonet, a mental health writer who last week told us about the physical illnesses that bullying can cause. Or Bob LaMendola, who works for the Florida Department of Health and also serves on our Board of Directors. Bob recently wrote about a session with other nonprofit groups at Children’s Services Council of Broward County that offered him an insightful view of living in poverty. All this to say, if you feel you have something to offer our many blog readers by all means please get in touch and pitch us your idea. We don’t pay anything, of course — 100% of our money goes into our programs. But you will have the satisfaction that comes from an enthusiastic readership as well as from sharing your experience with more of those people who may benefit from it. To suggest your idea, just go to the Contact page on this website and send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!