June 24, 2018


Sweethearts, heroes and empathy

Sept. 22, 2017


Rick Yarosh stands and speaks to elementary students, who are seated on the floor  


Even the most caring among us can find his empathy challenged at times, Sweethearts & Heroes speaker Rick Yarosh told Duanesburg Elementary students on Sept. 22. The retired U.S. Army sergeant, who received devastating injuries from an IED explosion in Iraq, and fellow speaker Tom Murphy shared messages of kindness, anti-bullying and positivity with the children as part of Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) School Spirit Day 2018.

The students assembled in the elementary library to listen to Yarosh and Murphy and observe Yarosh's service dog obey a few commands. 

The PBIS program promotes positive behavior, personal responsibility and school pride, with a goal of promoting a safe and productive learning environment. Both Duanesburg Elementary and Duanesburg Jr./Sr. High School have active PBIS teams and programs, and both schools celebrated PBIS Day on Sept. 22.

Sweethearts and Heroes is a non-profit organization established "solely for the purpose of putting a stop to bullying through a pro-active commitment to education." Through knowledge and communication, the organization is committed to bringing their message to individual communities, not only to help the victims, but especially to empower bystanders to make a difference.

Tom Murphy stands holds student's hand in front of room while he speaks to students
Tom Murphy relates a lesson in the elementary library.
In the top photo, Rick Yarosh speaks to students about
empathy challengers.