School Programs 

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with great gratitude to those who have lighted the flame within us."  -Albert Schweitzer

Our school selection process is based on the school's 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. A school that has laid the foundation for this work by exhibiting a commitment to character education and by already creating a safe environment for their children to learn and grow will be the most successful using our  "Don't Laugh at Me" program. 

The “Don’t Laugh at Me” program

Operation Respect’s school-based program, “Don’t Laugh At Me” (DLAM), along with additional researched-based social and emotional learning and character development curricula, fosters a caring, accepting, ridicule-free and bully-free school and community environment for children and adults alike. Peter Yarrow of the legendary trio Peter, Paul and Mary and long-time activist, founded Operation Respect and the program which has been introduced to over 22,000 schools throughout the United States and all over the world.

The Respect Ability Foundation is modeled after Operation Respect and is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create a kinder and gentler world for children to learn and grow. McGraw Hill Education provides all the learning material free of charge. 

For further information or to receive a school survey to fill out to determine next steps, please call Arlene Berkman, Executive Director, at 704.993.6480 or send an email request to

Introducing Raf

Raf is named after the Respect Ability Foundation and is our new mascot. Wendy and Susan communicate with the kids using Raf to help discuss expressing and managing feelings, talking about bullying and conflict, building community by creating a caring being and celebrating diversity and family.

January 2017 Dear Raf


Select Schools

2017-2018 school year
Highland Creek Elementary School (Charlotte)
Long Creek Elementary School (Huntersville)

2016-2017 school year
Blythe Elementary School (Huntersville)

2015-2016 school year
Davidson Elementary School (Davidson)
First Ward Creative Arts Academy (Charlotte)
Military and Global Leadership Academy (Charlotte)

2014-2015 school year
Clear Creek Elementary School (Charlotte)
Croft Community School (Charlotte)
Bain Elementary School (Mint Hill)

2013-2014 school year
Eastover Elementary School (Charlotte)
East Lincoln Middle School (Iron Station)
Crown Point Elementary School (Matthews)

2012-2013 school year
Selwyn Elementary School (Charlotte)
Winterfield Elementary School (Charlotte)
Lake Wylie Elementary School (Charlotte)

2011-2012 school year
Pineville Elementary School (Pineville)
Ada Jenkins After School Program (Davidson)
Woodlawn School (Mooresville)

Highland Creek Elementary School Kick-off Assembly 9/1/17



Long Creek Elementary School Staff Training 8/23/17 



Blythe Elementary School 2016-2017
Caring Acts of Kindness Handshake

All Our Select Schools Receive an Award for Upstander School of the Year at Their Year-end Assembies 

First Ward Performing Arts Elementary School 2015-2016

Bain Elementary School 2014-2015

Joyce Fullington, AP and Tracey Hayes, Principal at
Bain Elementary with "Mr. Sid " at their-end assembly May 2015

Clear Creek Elementary School 2014-2015

Crown Point 2013-2014
Kick-off School assembly

East Lincoln Middle School 2013-2014

Winterfield Elementary School 2012-2013
Kick-off assembly for students and staff

Winterfield has embraced the program and you can see evidence throughout the entire school.


Lake Wylie Elementary School 2012-2013
The staff performs for the students at the opening assembly

Selwyn Elementary School 2012-2013
Students sharing their thoughts at opening assembly