Shouts, songs and squeals of excitement could be heard from the Bains Elementary School gym Jan. 26 as students heard from Harvey the Rabbit and his friends, Cecil the Orangutan and T-Boy the Alligator, as well as humans Tim and Laura Allured.
The hourlong program gave students tools to resolve conflicts peacefully, according to a news release. Through entertainment, song and dance, students were taught lessons in making a deal, walking away, talking it out, sharing, apologizing and ignoring as smart ways to resolve conflict. A red siren went off every time someone was caught in a violation, such as hitting, name-calling, insults, threats, blaming or getting even.
The program concluded with everyone taking the pledge:
"Today I pledge and I’m not foolin’
To keep the peace and stop the bullyin’
I want to do what's good for me
So I agree to stay drug-free."
The Allureds are the creative minds behind the Harvey and Friends program. They call themselves "entertaining educators for children." All of their programs have a positive message and are filled with fun for everyone involved.
The pair are 1983 graduates of McNeese State University in Lake Charles and were music teachers in Calcasieu Parish for three years. In 1986, they decided to pursue full-time entertaining, which led them to five years on Carnival cruise ships out of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, as well as steamboats out of New Orleans.
Along the way, they returned to schools as entertaining educators and started performing for library summer reading programs. They have hosted a local cable TV show called the “Harvey Rabbit Cartoon Hour” and have produced five videos, which are in schools and libraries from coast to coast.