Hidalgo ISD’s Dr. Alejo Salinas Elementary hosted Claudia Villarreal, children’s book author to read and introduce to the students her new book, ‘The Bully who Learned to Love.’
By introducing and reading her book to the students, she hoped to initiate or remind them about the importance of kindness, service, love, and respect for others. Afterall, “there are thousands of languages each one unique, that means thousands of ways to make friends when we speak,” declaimed Villarreal. “That’s the biggest takeaway that I want the students to have from this book.”
Villarreal took the time to introduce the characters of the book and how they came about. She also made it a point to recite the words from the Anti-Bullying pledge with all the students; “I pledge to speak up when I see bullying, to be a friend whenever I see bullying, reach out to others who are being bullied, and speak kind and acceptance every day!”
The students were enthusiastic about reciting the Anti-Bullying Pledge. Villarreal also spoke about the difference between being a buddy and a bully. As Villarreal proceeded on with reading the book, all the 2nd and 3rd graders sat quietly and attentively, patiently waiting to hear the next rhyme.
“I really enjoyed the book because of the fun characters and the clever rhyming words,” explained 2nd grader, Fernanda Rivera. “We were also reminded about being a friend to all and not a bully, and that to me was so important”
For Hidalgo ISD, it’s crucial to speak and teach about bullying in the classroom because it brings awareness, reaction and prevention. It not only creates more friendships but also a more welcoming learning environment for everyone. The opportunities are out there to reach out, to be kind and to be helpful to others regardless of their upbringing or background. “I love the book because it taught us how to be kind to others despite our differences,” said 3rd grader, Reyna Sifuentes.
In writing this book, Villarreal also highlights how we all can embrace our differences. “The main thing I would like for the students to take with them is the importance of being kind, the importance of acceptance, the importance of embracing our difference instead of pointing them out and bullying others for them,” concluded Villarreal. “It’s only one of me and I know I can’t change the world but if I can change one or two students, I’ve done my job!”