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Local author discusses bullying with students

Trudy Ludwig visits Scappoose schools to talk about bullying


by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: ROBIN JOHNSON - Ludwig served as content advisor for Sesame Street Workshops Good Birds Club television episode and as an expert panel member featured on Sesame Streets recent video series on bullying.Trudy Ludwig, an award-winning children’s book author from Portland, visited the Scappoose School District Tuesday, Oct. 15, to speak to students about bullying.

Ludwig spoke at three different assemblies and later held a presentation for parents focused on kids’ online and offline social worlds and how they relate to friendships and bullying.

Ludwig wrote her first book, “My Secret Bully,” in 2003 after her daughter’s friends were bullying her. Since then, she has published seven more children’s books and presented at schools and conferences around the country, educating students, parents and teachers on the topic. Ludwig released her latest book, “The Invisible Boy,” which focuses on social exclusion, last week.

Ludwig’s books have received Mom’s Choice Gold Awards, the Moonbeam Children’s Books Gold Award and are included in the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s “Best of the Year” Selection, the National Crime Prevention Council’s “Circle of Respect” Book Club Selection and the Junior Library Guild Selection.

“I collaborate with experts and organizations around the United States to stay abreast of what’s working and what’s not working when it comes to preventing bullying,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig said the purpose of her work is to build emotional resiliency among youth and teach them to be more accepting of other’s differences. “I want to provide people with tips, tools and resources to empower kids and help them in their social world,” she said.

Another key aspect of her work, Ludwig said, is to educate parents and kids about what bullying is and isn’t. Unintentionally rude or intentionally mean behavior isn’t necessarily bullying, Ludwig said. But intentional and persistent mean behavior with an intent to harm falls under the category of bullying. “I don’t like using ‘bully’ as a noun,” she added, explaining that the label can be detrimental to some kids. “It’s a behavior that can be unlearned, but requires caring adults in the community to help.”

Otto Petersen Elementary School counselor Jessy Gretzinger, who was in charge of coordinating Ludwig’s Scappoose tour, said this isn’t the first time the author has visited the school district.

“She gives great ideas for kids on how to manage bullying problems,” she said.

Gretzinger said she continues to employ Ludwig’s methods throughout the school year in various ways.

“It’s a prevention tool I focus on every year,” she said. “Kids need to learn how to manage that.”

For more information on Ludwig and her work, visit http://www.trudyludwig.com.

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