October is National Bullying Prevention Month and our youth are taking a stand. This summer we worked with amazing young people from Newport News Public Schools for the SPARK Extension Program. We co-hosted YOLO Camp with Ivy Baptist Church.
During the camp, we held “Advocacy Day” and invited guests came to meet with the students and hear their concerns from their perspective. There, Jennifer Smith of J. Smith Enterprises gave us permission to hang our posters in some of her McDonald’s locations on the Peninsula! It was so exciting for the youth to see that adults cared about their concerns and wanted to help. At the culminating event in August, the youth designed four posters to help prevent bullying as part of their advocacy action plan. The students carefully and thoughtfully made the posters and we made copies and got them laminated.
They have been posted and can be seen at the following locations:
- Ft. Eustis #5069: 15480 Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA 23608
- Denbigh #1750: 417 Denbigh Blvd, Newport News, VA 23602
- Oyster Point #4782: 12105 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA 23602
- Hidenwood #13782: 12487 Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA 23606
- J. Clyde #3308: 652 J. Clyde Morris Blvd, Newport News, VA 23601
- Big Bethel #11771: 1196 Big Bethel Road, Hampton, VA 23666
- Aberdeen #5799: 601 Aberdeen Road, Hampton, VA 23661
- 26th Street #6983: 2601 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA 23607
According to 2014 national statistics, 28% of students in grades 6-12 experienced bullying and 20% of students in grades 9-12 experienced it. Also, about 30% of young people admit to bullying others. 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools, but only about 20-30% notified adults about the bullying. When bystanders intervened, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time. Most bullying takes place in school, outside on school grounds, and on the school bus.
The data shows we have some work to do so that each student can have a productive, nurturing, and successful educational experience! Thank you to the students of SPARK YOLO Camp for taking a stand against bullying!
For more from the camp experience, go to #YOLOSPARK17 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!