Many general testimonials exist for A for Attitude, but here we present feedback from a case study run in schools on the Mornington Peninsula since 2013.
Thanks to sponsorship from the Rotary Club of Rosebud-Rye, Rotary Club of Dromana, Bulk Whole Foods Somerville and Rye Newsagency.
In October 2014, students and their teachers were invited to participate in a survey to determine the value of this project. 430 students and 11 teachers completed the survey. 75% of students said they find the book useful. 25% still use it on a regular basis (once a week or more often). Read some of their responses below.
Student comments – Yr 3 & 4
What have you learned about yourself from reading A for Attitude?
“it helps me with my anger problem – thank you so much!”
“it makes me feel like I can do something right…that I can do stuff!”
“I think I can stop complaining”
“I should be more proud of myself”
“that when you’re angry, you should never EVER hurt anyone, and you should always be polite to people”
“I should look after myself a bit more”
“to never give up”
“I need to work on Anger, Body, Dare to be different and Fun.”
“I learned that you should be proud of yourself.”
“I should relax more.”
“you can be yourself.”
“always try, believe and don’t bully.”
“it helps me at home to be nice to my brother.”
“animals give you love, so you should love them back.”
“that if you’re not honest, people won’t trust you.”
“I was very mean last year and I read it and it helped.”
“I learned new things and I really like this book!”
“very helpful…I love it!”
“anyone can be strong if they try.”
“to be calm.”
“that I should always believe in myself.”
“never be mean.”
“don’t think about what anyone says to hurt our feelings, and think what you want to think.”
“to be honest and confident.”
“it makes me believe in myself.”
“that myself or anyone can be a better person, they just need to show how nice they are or who is on the inside.”
“the boomerang page helps people understand the Golden Rule “Treat others as you want to be treated. The meditation page helps me sleep.”” I am as important as everyone else and they are ALL as important as me.”
“it teaches us that no-one is perfect.”
“it teaches me to accept myself for whoever I am and not to take my anger out on anyone or myself.”
“I’ve become more confident and persistent.”
“to not play X-Box or iPad all the time because your mind is going to fast.”
“don’t copy others, treat your pets like you treat yourself.”
“it helped me to calm down and relax and not to get angry. It helped me to be better to other people and not furious… now I’m nice, caring and helpful just by reading your book Julie.”
‘It helped me to stop doing stupid stuff.”
“to be nice to others and it will reflect.”
“it helps you with your anger.”
“I learned about me, what to do when I’m feeling down and want to express it.”
“I have learned about ‘it’s my choice on if I should do things or not, and there is a lot, lot more things.”
“how to deal with my anger and emotions in a better way.”
“it’s good to be reminded that you are in charge of your own feelings.”
“when I am angry, I read the page and it helps me to calm down a bit.”
“if you’re angry, settle down and go away from everybody.”
“it tells you don’t have to be a follower. And to make your own choices.”
“respect other people and respect yourself.”
“I have learned how to calm myself down.”
“At the end of last year we purchased a copy of A for Attitude for each staff member. I know that staff value this resource. For some it is kept at school and used regularly with their class, for others it is a resource used for them at home personally. It is often used during staff prayer or reflection before meeting times.
I am fortunate to have a son in Year 3 who was given a copy through the great Rotary initiative. My son usually keeps his copy in his school bag so he can access it at home and school. Just the other night he was sent to his room for making a poor behavioural choice. When I went a couple of minutes later to check on him, he was sitting on his bed with his A for Attitude book open. I felt quite comfortable leaving him there as I knew he had in a sense turned to this wonderful resource for guidance and wisdom. A wonderful resource for all!!”
Marita O’Sullivan, Deputy principal, Our Lady of Fatima P.S
Such a great initiative, students mention it often, have used it as a strategy when dealing with issues”
“Dear Julie and Bob,
It is with much gratitude that I write to express our thanks on behalf of Bruce Mesley and Dromana Primary School for the wonderful book donation made by Dromana Rotary of Julie’s book, ‘A for Attitude’ this week.
Your special ‘A for Attitude’ session was inspiring, fun and thought-provoking for the students. They were so surprised to meet a real author/illustrator, hear your story and receive their personalised copies of the book. We have included a short item in this week’s school newsletter regarding your kind gesture, which I have attached for you.
As we discussed previously, I will be referring to ‘A for Attitude’ particularly during Bounce Back! lessons to emphasise issues for students’ social and wellbeing development. It is a pleasure having met with you both and I thank you both for your generosity.
The following teachers used the book on a weekly basis, most notably to discuss an incident. This is an excellent use of the book as then children see that it is a resource they can dip into when in need of personal guidance. Having their own copy of the book to use in class and also take home is one of the keys to the success of this project.
“The children would often read their individual copies during silent reading times and enjoyed sharing their thoughts.”
“It is a great resource for social skills lessons and goal setting. We also make use of the digital activity pack (FabFirst5) in conjunction with our ‘You Can Do It” program.”
“It should form part of our booklist and be given out in the first week of school”
Teachers who used the book on a monthly basis:
eaching children resilience and persistence can be very challenging. It’s very helpful to have such an appealing resource such as A for Attitude to refer to i the classroom. It’s wonderful to hear the children refer to certain pages of the book and some have even memorised phrases.
I have thoroughly enjoyed using A for Attitude as a teaching resource in the area of student Well-Being. the children are enthusiastic to read, discuss and share their feelings using the book as a support.
“The book was used to shape class discussions. The activity booklet was very helpful and the story about the Ant, Bee and Caterpillar was great on several levels. As we are a ‘Bounce Back’ school, we already have a program we use, but the ‘A for Attitude’ book is child friendly and it is great to have their own copy!”
“We need to follow up on this book and activities in grade 4.”
Red Hill Consolidated — supported by small business brand partner sponsorship 2014 & 15
Kate Emry, senior teacher at Red Hill Consolidated School already had her own copy of A for Attitude and used it daily in class of her own initiative. Once ‘Bulk Whole Foods Market’ in Somerville sponsored books and the students had their own copies, we asked Kate to provide feedback:
“A for Attitude is an extremely suitable resource for grade 3 children. The messages and values, along with images are of high interest to them and reflect the positive messages we try to convey to them on an individual level and as a whole group.
The children felt very privileged to receive a free copy and were very respectful of their own personal copy. We used the book in many class activities and discussions for months following the initial program. Thank you.”
The ripple effect
A Yr 3/4 teacher tells how and why she uses her copy of A for Attitude:
“I received my copy of A for Attitude in 1998 when I was 10 years old, so this book has been apart of my life now for 16 years. My parents had just recently separated and this book helped me gain the resilience I needed to cope through this difficult time.
This book has been so important to me and I am so glad I am now a teacher and I can share it with my students. I am so pleased that my school has just purchased a copy for every staff member.”
“At the beginning of the year I read a page a day and we discuss what it means and how it applies to our lives. Throughout the year we constantly refer back to it. My students love when I get the book out and it is always popular when they have their own reading time.
I am now studying a Masters of Education focussing on Wellbeing and I hope that every school I go to will imbed your book in their wellbeing program.”
Ms Rebecca Neagle, Yr 3/4 teacher
St Joseph’s Primary School, Brunswick West, Vic. Australia