Since 1992, Catherine Dahlgren, our Lady of Perpetual Asphalt, has been the St. John Playground Supervisor. She organizes an intrepid group of volunteers who brave the elements, monitor energetic children confined to classrooms for indoor recess, care for scraped knees and elbows, show compassion for bruised egos, and help children problem solve troubled friendships, rules of the game and negotiate fairly all things in between.
In addition to monitoring the playground, Mrs. Dahlgren teaches an anti-bullying program. In 2002, she attended the K-12 Take A Stand Against Bullying conference, which was hosted by the Shoreline Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office. Mrs. Dahlgren took what she learned from the conference and expanded the curriculum to offer more depth and to tailor the content to reflect Catholic teachings.
Naming the anti-bullying program, Peacemakers (from the Beatitudes), she meets with grades kindergarten through fifth once a month and teaches five to six lessons. Lessons include topics on friendship and the problems that can occur between friends, tolerance and sportsmanship, what bullying is, what to do if you are bullied or if you witness bullying, how to define teasing and taunting and strategies for handling these situations. In fourth and fifth grades, Mrs. Dahlgren incorporates lessons on cyber-bullying and peer pressure. Negotiating the playground can be tricky, but Mrs. Dahlgren teaches children how to become ‘upstanders’ rather than bystanders through Peacemakers.
Mrs. Dahlgren is always looking for more volunteers to ensure that the children have a safe and positive lunch recess (11:00-12:15pm). Small children in tow and grandparents are welcome. Please contact Mrs. Dahlgren if you can volunteer.