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PACER Puppets

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the PACER puppet program

As a school bus driver, Barb Jensen knows how important it is to provide students with positive messages and good role models. She recently demonstrated her commitment to the children on her route by donating $100 so that PACER’s KIDS AGAINST BULLYING puppet program could be presented at their school.

Barb was there in May 2012 when second- and third-graders at Washburn Elementary School in Bloomington, Minn., took part in the creative, interactive puppet presentation. “I was amazed by the appropriateness of the puppet show and by how it engaged the children,” she says.

A donation of $100 enables 50 children to participate in the puppet program. In addition to her personal gift, Barb obtained matching funds from the school and the Service Employees International Union Local 284, which represents bus drivers, so that 150 students could take part. The students learned what they can do if they are bullied, and how they can help if they see someone else being bullied. They learned the difference between ‘telling’ and ‘tattling,’ and that no one ever deserves to be bullied.

“Behavior on the bus has improved, and there has been a noticeable spike in the reporting of questionable behaviors to me,” Barb says. “There is no doubt that the kids are more aware.”  

Barb was inspired to act following the death of her nephew, who took his own life in 2011 after being bullied by his college resident assistant. In her nephew’s memory, Barb has named PACER as the beneficiary of her life insurance policy at the end of her life.

Barb is one of countless unsung heroes who make it possible for PACER to help children. To explore how you can join them, contact PACER’s Development Office at (952) 838-9000.