The Foundation for Respect Ability seeks to convert "bystanders" into "upstanders." We want to empower people to address bullying in all forms. Our goal is to facilitate opportunities for communication and to develop programs and strategies for helping parents, students, and educators as they deal with these issues.

Our message is delivered through song, audience participation and discussion. We hope that through music we can inspire change and create a more respectful, safe, and compassionate climate for learning. Through music, we teach about values, tolerance, and understanding. Through interaction we hope to reduce the emotional and physical cruelty some children and adults inflict upon each other.

By bringing diverse groups of people together in schools, clubs, religious institutions and other organizations, we hope to be a catalyst for change, encouraging people to take an active role as "upstanders," speaking up when acts of cruelty occur in their presence.

YouTube video-10-minute documentary on the
Foundation for Respect Ability's program and work in the schools

The Foundation for Respect Ability Is Now Accepting Applications for New “Select Schools”

The Foundation for Respect Ability, a non-profit organization, is now accepting applications from individual schools for the 2014-2015 school year to become part of their successful character development and social and emotional learning program. The program runs for the entire school year and is offered as a free service to the school and community. The Foundation is in its fourth year and has experienced much success with its “Don’t Laugh at Me” program and workshops.

The Foundation’s selection process is based on a schools strong willingness and commitment to enhance its school climate. “We believe this work, to be truly successful, requires a top down and bottom up approach from the school leadership, staff and teachers that engages students, parents and the community” states Arlene Berkman, Board Chair and Founder. “We work closely with existing school programs and individual school guidelines”.

The “Don’t Laugh at Me” (DLAM) program, which was started by Operation Respect and is supported with additional researched-based social and emotional learning and character development curricula. It fosters a caring, accepting, ridicule-free and bully-free school and community environment for children and adults alike. Since its inception the program has been introduced to over 22,000 schools. Mc Graw Hill Education provides all the learning material free of charge.

The program consists of teacher training, student activities, songwriting and the creative arts to help foster empathy, tolerance, acceptance and strategies where bystanders can become upstanders. The Foundation partners with the school staff, teachers and students and commits to an ongoing presence during the school year. It has been designed for Elementary and Middle School students.

Please go to Contact Us and request information or an interview.