Thursday, March 20, 2014
Students at North Augusta Elementary School had a unique experience last week.
Anthony “Buckets” Blakes spoke with students on the basketball court about how to prevent bullying at their school.
The Harlem Globetrotters community outreach program is called “The ABCs of Bullying Prevention.” Comprising the ABCs are action, bravery and compassion. The initiative is in coordination with the National Campaign to Stop Violence.
“Go right to the nearest teacher or adult so they get in trouble,” Blakes said. “If bullies never get caught, they’re always going to continue to be bullies. You always want to keep a smile on your face and never allow bullies to take your happiness away.”
The school won the visit in a contest tied to ticket sales for the Globetrotters’ visit to the James Brown Arena last Friday. According to the Globetrotters’ website, the program is designed to target 6- to 12-year-olds with tools that they can use on an everyday basis.
“If you see someone who has been bullied and pushed around, you can tell that person everything is going to be OK,” Blakes told the students. “You can walk with that person to a teacher or principal to tell them what happened. Most importantly, you can make that person your friend for the day and invite them to eat lunch with you or to play with you at recess or after school.”
Blakes also told the students to always remain brave in the face of bullying and to make sure they walk away from encounters with a smile on their faces.
The program cites that students point to bullying as a cause of violence that they experience, and “the rate at which kids are reporting this cause is increasing.” Through the initiative, the Globetrotters and the National Campaign to Stop Violence hope to find students early in their lives and to teach them lessons through positive role models.
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star.