Student-athletes present anti-bullying message to grade-school children
Binghamton student-athletes continued their commitment to community service with a program at Vestal Hills Elementary School this fall. Eight student-athletes took part in a “No Bystanders” leadership program that aims to curtail cyber-bullying and bullying in general.
The Binghamton University students, representing four different sports teams, worked with more than 50 fifth-graders on two school visits, offering ways to recognize and combat bullying and teaching the young students the importance of friendship, trust, courage and leadership. After opening games and discussion, the kids broke into smaller groups and planned and performed skits together. The role-playing and reinforced behavior helped further the message of inclusiveness and caring.
Front and center in the hour-long presentation was sophomore heavyweight wrestler Tyler Deuel, whose blend of brawn and anti-bullying words was an important visual message for the young kids. Joining Deuel were women’s soccer players Jamie Holliday, Kerry Sullivan and Emily Pape, volleyball player Alex Roland and cross country and track athletes Abigail Elliott, Caitlin Jelinek and Carly Kiess.
Spearheaded locally by Binghamton University’s assistant athletics director Kim King, the “No Bystanders” program:
• is a principles-based cyber-bullying program, promoting positive youth development for fifth- and sixth-grade students
• promotes the students as leaders within the community
• develops a relationship of trust among the student body
• creates an environment of positive peer pressure through courage, empathy, leadership and humility by emphasizing Virtues in Action
• increases the principles and awareness of what cyber-bullying is and how it affects people within our society as a whole
• establishes an efficient process to combat cyber-bullying
• provides students with the necessary resources to combat cyber-bullying
• creates empathy in students so bystanders speak out against cyber-bullying
• removes the false sense of power felt in cyberspace