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President, Joan Hartel Cabral, presents a check to New Hope

Oysters & Bullies: An Unlikely Combination

Joan Hartel Cabral, Founder and President of Vantel Pearls is in the blue in the middle right. Click picture for larger image.
Joan Hartel Cabral, Founder and President of Vantel Pearls is in the blue in the middle right. Click picture for larger image.

“The world is your oyster.” A metaphor frequently heard and one that was reinforced to the fourth graders at Hyman Fine Elementary School in Attleboro. Joan Hartel Cabral, President of Vantel Pearls in Foxboro, MA visited the students to discuss this metaphor as it relates to the issue of bullying in the schools.

When an irritant, like a grain of sand enters an oyster’s shell, the oyster, in response, secretes a substance called nacre to coat it. Several layers of this substance create the beautiful gem we know as a pearl. Just like the oyster, people too experience adversity, pain or irritation and just like the pearl, we can change it into something beautiful. Through this metaphor, students are empowered to transform a negative experience, like bullying, into one of powerful growth and come to understand that they are, like each pearl, a unique one-of-a-kind treasure.

Ms. Hartel Cabral’s message will help to reinforce the lessons learned through Second Steps, a program designed to help students strengthen their empathy, emotional management and problem solving skills.