The Willow Tree is a state-wide prevention, wellness & treatment agency helping to Grow Pro-Active — Kind — Drug-Free Youngsters through programs like "Don't Laugh at Me!"
For for almost two decades now, Willow Tree has been working to inspire & train NJ youth to become drug prevention & kindness advocates through the Willow Tree Teen Institute (WTTI). As a result, thousands of teens have been making a positive difference in their schools and communities. We have a strong and powerful track record in youth empowerment. What is so very different from years ago is the fact that technology no longer affords us a private “time out” to rest and rejuvenate. Our youth have no where to hide and for those being bullied, this is just too much to take. Internet bullying has increased our rate of adolescent suicides to a frightening and horrifying level. We need to do something ... NOW!
What We’re Offering ... The Willow Tree Center is offering an affordable three pronged program to empower middle and high school youngsters and their teachers to create caring communities to reduce bullying. The program will be focused around the song, “Don’t Laugh at Me” & is meant to compliment your character education, conflict resolution, peer leadership and bullying prevention programs.
Our Philosophy ... We believe that youngsters often use substances &/or become bullies in an attempt to medicate away the pain of feeling unwanted & not “part of” a group. The solution can be simple: Motivate our drug free & kind kids to be more inclusive to those who seem left out.
The Three Program Components
#1: The Focus of Conference 1 (one day)
- Understanding why people bully others;
- Developing greater empathy toward others;
- Gaining an understanding that the better goal is “Inclusion” — not just tolerance.
- Action Planning to create “Ridicule-Free Zones.”
Workshop presenters will include:
- Educational Humorist & Sign-Language Artist: Sandy Queen
- Actor, Educator & Psychologist: Mykee Fowlin
- Willow Tree Directors: Sue Nobleman & Charlie Berman
#2: The Focus Back at School
After attending the first conference, teachers will be given the “Don’t Laugh at Me” curriculum guide and video to allow them to continue reinforcing the messages learned at the conference. Students will return to their schools to create their own music videos or powerpoint presentations to the song, “Don’t Laugh at Me.” 3 versions of the song will be provided with sheet music.
#3: Focus of Conference 2 (one day)
Students & teachers will reconvene to showcase their videos & powerpoint presentations. The groups will then brainstorm ways to bring their important media presentations to many others.
“Don’t Laugh at Me” — Words & Music by Steve Seskin & Allen Shamblin, Consider their words ...
- I’m the little boy with glasses
- The one they call a geek
- The little girl who never smiles
- Cuz I’ve got braces on my teeth
- And I know how it feels to cry myself to sleep
- I’m that kid on every playground
- Who’s always chosen last
- I’m a single teenage mother
- trying to over come my past.
- You don’t have to be my friend
- But is it to much to ask ...
- Don’t laugh at me.
- Don’t call me names.
- Don’t get your pleasure from my pain
- In God’s eyes we’re all the same
- Someday we’ll all have perfect wings.
- Don’t laugh at me.
- I’m the beggar on the corner
- You’ve passed me on the street &
- I wouldn’t be out here begging
- if I had enough to eat
- And don’t think I don’t notice
- that our eyes never meet.
- I’m fat, I’m thin, I’m short, I’m tall
- I’m deaf, I’m blind
- Hey aren’t we all.
- Don’t laugh at me ...