MILTON, Ga. — Whitlow Elementary School second-grade teacher Nadia Porcelli-Munisteri can recognize bullying, and she wants to make sure you and your children can, too.
Her book, “Who Are You Calling A Bully?” published last month, is a children’s fiction picture book written to help students from kindergarten to second grade understand and recognize a bully.
“Sometimes a kid might just be having a bad day, but is labeled a bully,” Munisteri said. “Bullying is a series of repeated, usually aggressive behaviors, and the book gives examples to help kids and adults know how to recognize it.”
Munisteri used principles from the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, utilized by the Forsyth County School System, when writing her book.
“I’ve been on the committee for the program and have created lesson plans for kids,” she said. “I wanted to take it a step further and help kids that might not have access to this program.”
Munisteri, a Milton resident, has been a teacher for 10 years, spending the first four years in New York and the rest in Georgia.
“I’ve seen all kinds of bullying, and I’ve seen what it does to a child,” she said.
The book’s main character, a young girl named Mia, is written to interact with the reader.
“I wanted the reader to feel like they were having a conversation with Mia because interacting with others is such a big part of learning,” she said.
She said Mia provides examples of bullying and asks the reader questions.
“If a parent or a teacher reads this book to a child who is being bullied, it can open the lines of communication and help the child,” she said.
Munisteri self-published the book through Outskirts, because she felt a sense of urgency to help define bullying.
“Traditional publishing can take years and bullying is such a big problem, I wanted to do my part to help now,” she said. “Children are committing suicide because they’re being bullied and we need to find a way to stop this.”
She said if her book helps even one child understand the definition of bullying, that’s success.
Munisteri hopes to continue writing books to educate children on important issues.
“I think using the character Mia is a great way to help inform and educate kids and their parents about important issues for children,” she said.
“Who Are You Calling A Bully?” sells for $14.95 and is available at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.
This article was published in the Milton Herald April 17, 2013 edition