No Name-Calling Week

  1. Updates

The power of a great role model on the playground

Last week, schools around the country observed the eighth annual No Name-Calling Week. Lead by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing and Barnes & Noble, dozens of organizations joined the cause to create safe schools by campaigning to eliminate name-calling and other verbal harassment.

Schools encouraged positive messages and led discussions on the effects of name-calling. The No Name-Calling website includes a kit available for order and additional online resources. One supporter, the National Education Association, shared information about the week and links to other resources on their website.

From all the local news articles, the week appeared a roaring success. But we think No Name-Calling, should be not a week, but a year-round commitment to eliminating verbal harassment. We think that supporting great role models at recess is a start.

A role model can go a long way on the school yard. Adults or students, they lead by example with their actions and words. They give the most high fives and notice the best in every student's play. When students need feedback, every critique comes with praise. Role models are careful to speak with person-first language–always acknowledging others by name, not their qualities. All these actions encourage the youth to follow suit–sending positive messages instead of name-calling.

Adults on the playground are the seeds of good role modelling. They can explicitly teach students to give high fives to their teammates AND opponents. They encourage students to offer a “good job!” or “nice try!” to their classmates. And students can be taught to cheer for their peers by acknowledging their hard work, for example in a game of kickball: “Way to run your fastest! You nearly beat the ball to first base!”

Adults on the playground don't need to take over a playground to stop bullying. They only to speak up during teachable moments and to lead by example to end the harassment. We believe it takes a great role model to end name-calling.

We'd love to hear how adults and students at your schools are making the playgrounds free of verbal harassment and bullying….How are they setting an example as role models?

More Updates


January 8, 2021

To America’s Teachers and Families ›

As we all try to process the extremely troubling events in Washington DC this week, Playworks wants to express our deep appreciation to our nation’s teachers and families. We see you caring for America’s children and helping them grapple with what they saw. You are approaching hard conversations with kids to help them understand what…

December 15, 2020

Top 6 Games to Play Virtually ›

Many educators have risen to the challenge of transitioning their lessons to accommodate virtual education, and Playworks has been helping educators ensure play remains in every child’s day, even online. Kids prioritize play, and with our support educators are leveraging play when teaching virtually in order to keep kids engaged, active, and to build community.…

November 9, 2020

Play Builds Serious Skills ›

Playtime is many things. It’s fun for children. It’s an escape for busy parents. But it’s much more than that. According to Dr. Stephanie M. Carlson, distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota, and Reflection Sciences co-founder, “Play is about as ‘blueprinted’ a behavior as you can have in terms of basic survival and reproduction.” Furthermore,…