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Want to Offer a Bullying Prevention Program at Your School? Here are a Few Ideas!

 The importance of bullying prevention programs cannot be underestimated. Many schools either have programs or are interested in starting programs that not only prevent bullying, but also help students who are being bullied. Since October is National Bullying Prevention Month, we’ve pulled together a list of programs and potential funders that support anti-bullying and character-building programs in schools.It’s the end of September and students are starting to settle into school routines. Unfortunately, that can sometimes result in kids establishing a pecking order – with some students being bullied, and others being the bullies.

Bullying affects students of all ages. The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health reported that over 5.7 million teens are estimated to be either victims, perpetrators, or spectators of bullying. In a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that, nationwide, 14.8 percent of students have been electronically bullied (through email, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites or texting) and 19.6 percent have been bullied on school property.

While it seems as though all of us grew up at least knowing that bullying occurs, the problem has become even worse with the pervasiveness of social media and cyber bullying. But whether bullying happens in person or online, its effects are long-lasting and can often be severe.

The importance of bullying prevention programs cannot be overstated. Many schools want to start new programs, or strengthen current ones, that not only prevent bullying, but also help students who are being bullied. Since October is Bullying Prevention Month, we’ve pulled together a list of programs and potential funders that support anti-bullying and character-building programs in schools.

  • Many sports teams around the country provide either programming or grants that help prevent bullying. Examples include the Indiana Pacers, the San Francisco Giants, and the New York Jets (who each year provides 1,000 free anti-bullying kits to schools in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut). Don’t overlook minor league teams either, since they can often be wonderful partners! Check with the sports teams in your area to see what kind of partnerships they offer.
  • The CyberBully Hotline supports schools by giving students and parents a secure pathway to report problems. They also have a toolkit for school administrators that contains professional development resources on bullying and violence prevention.
  • Other organizations likely to support anti-bullying programs at a local level include Rotary International, Kiwanis International, U.S. Jaycees, and township or county mental health departments.
  • Another source may be the United Way, if you have a chapter near you.
  • Your local police department may be happy to partner with you to deliver an anti-bullying program.
  • Go on the offensive and Google “Bullying Prevention Programs” to find other potential partner organizations or programs near you.

If you have an idea for an anti-bullying program or activity, check out The Stop Bullying Now Foundation. This foundation raises money for school districts, in Florida and throughout the United States, that don’t have the funds to address and eliminate student bullying.  If you’re interested in data about student bullying and its effects, check out their homepage where you’ll find a very informative student bullying infographic.

Our children deserve our attention to this important matter.  According to The Stop Bullying Now Foundation, bullying is reduced by 50 percent in schools that have an anti-bullying program. Together, with community partners and grant dollars, we can build extremely effective and highly worthwhile anti-bullying programs in all our schools!

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