Bancroft Early Education Teacher Publishes First Book on Anti-Bullying
“I was encouraged to publish Bently the Bully first because I felt
our world needed to hear about grace and forgiveness.”
Holly Mazzochi, a Special Education teacher from Bancroft’s Early Education Program recently published her first book, Bently the Bully! Bently the Bully is about a troublesome boy who picks on other children at the playground. He pulls girls’ hair, beats boys up, and doesn’t listen to what he’s been told. The book follows him torturing other kids at the playground until one day, a small boy named Harvey, stands up to him. Despite being picked on by Bently himself, Harvey offers to be Bently’s friend. With one condition: Bently must stop being a Bully!
“It addresses so much of what our world needs right now. Inclusion, courage and kindness are all things we should be teaching our children.” – Amazon Reader
Keep reading our interview with Holly, to find out what inspired her to write this wonderful book and how she uses Bently the Bully to teach her students about anti-bullying and to encourage them to show kindness in their everyday lives.
What encouraged you to write this book?
A. I actually wrote Bently the Bully when I was 16. I have always loved to write. I especially love writing rhyming poems that hold a valuable lesson for kids (even adults sometimes). Growing up, my parents were my #1 supporters. My dad was always telling me “peanut, these poems could be turned into books someday!” When he passed in 2013, I was determined to make it happen. My first book is for him. When readers open Bently the Bully and see his dedication page, I hope they can feel how much he is still loved. I definitely am blessed to have had a dad like him. I was encouraged to publish Bently the Bully first because I felt our world needed to hear about grace and forgiveness.
What does Bently the Bully mean to you?
A.This is a great question! When my readers read Bently, I hope they take away TWO important lessons.Loving our enemies. Isn’t it so easy to love the people in our lives who are kind? Who do things for us? Who are fun to be around? Who make us laugh? But what shows true character is how we treat those who may not be as enjoyable to be around. Maybe those who are grumpy. Maybe those who complain a lot. Even those who are downright mean. We are called to love them anyway. Harvey does just that and shows Bently grace by offering to be his friend. Bently is so moved by Harvey’s kindness that he has a change of heart. My challenge to you, is to find those people in your community who you think may be hurting, and be a Harvey to them! Who knows what goodness can grow from being kind!
Forgiveness. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like our society today has trouble with this. When someone makes a mistake you could be instantly blocked, deleted, or “cancelled”. & Let’s be honest. We are ALL in need of forgiveness. There is not one human on this earth who will not one day need to ask for forgiveness for something or other. What helps me the most to forgive others is remembering how much I am forgiven. When Bently decides to stop being a bully, Harvey not only forgives him completely but he also doesn’t hold a grudge towards Bently. Bently is welcomed back wholeheartedly into the playground. Let’s bring forgiveness back! Imagine how many relationships it can restore? Imagine how many hearts could be at peace?
How has this helped your students & how do you use the book in class?
A. In my classroom we always make sure to show kindness and respect towards one another. I want my classroom to be a “safe” learning environment for my students above all else. Bently the Bully helps teach my students what it looks like to be kind, love others, and help those in need!