Bully-Free Starts with Me: October is National Bullying Prevention Month

Press Release from the City of Alexandria:

For Immediate Release: September 30, 2016

In recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month this October, Alexandria is hosting a series of activities through the Mayor’s Campaign to End Bullying. The campaign works to raise awareness about how to identify, respond to, and prevent bullying.

“Here in Alexandria, we have zero tolerance when it comes to bullying; kindness is a core value of our beloved, historic city,” said Mayor Allison Silberberg. “Bullying is a national issue that concerns us all, and its negative effects can last a lifetime. I ask everyone to learn the facts about bullying and to please join us as we stand together to ensure our City is a bully-free, accepting, and compassionate place for all.”

During October, Alexandrians are asked to wear green and declare their support for a Bully-Free Alexandria. Mayor Silberberg will issue a proclamation at City Council’s meeting on Wednesday, October 5, at 7 p.m. Additional activities include sports days, family nights, school and recreation center activities, a youth poster contest, a citywide Unity Day, and more. Participants at each activity will have the opportunity to pledge their support and receive information and resources on how they can help reduce bullying.

Bullying is the most common form of violence in our society. More than 70 percent of young people nationwide say they have seen bullying in their schools, and 30 percent have admitted to bullying others. According to data from the 2014 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in Alexandria, nearly 25 percent of eighth graders surveyed and more than 13 percent of 10th and 12th graders surveyed reported being bullied at school. Membership in either bully or victim groups is associated with dropping out of school, poor social development, criminal activity and other negative long-term consequences.

This year’s Bullying Prevention Month activities are sponsored by The Mayor’s Campaign to End Bullying, which was started in 2014 by former mayor William D. Euille. The purpose of the campaign, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, is to wipe out bullying in our nation’s schools and communities. Over the last two years, residents, youth leaders, community organizations, City agencies, and the Alexandria City Public Schools have worked together to increase awareness of the negative effects of bullying and to prevent bullying among Alexandria’s youth.

For more information about the Campaign and a calendar of events for National Bullying Prevention Month, visit www.alexandriava.gov/EndBullying.

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Baseball Clinic

On behalf of the Recreation Department and the Miracle League of Alexandria, we would also like to thank Dick Bosman, former major league baseball pitcher for the Washington Senators, for reaching out to the Miracle League players to participate in the baseball clinic on Wednesday, August 10 at the Kelley Cares Miracle League Field. The children had a wonderful time participating in the baseball drills and having fun playing baseball with Mr. Bosman, Alexandria Police Officer Moore, other fellow police officers, Bill Rivers and recreation staff who assisted with the clinic. We are thrilled Mr. Bosman had a chance to meet and greet our and the Therapeutic Recreation/Miracle League Program participants. They were honored to have Mr. Bosman visit their home field at the Kelley Cares Miracle Field. Thank you Mr. Bosman for such a wonderful day and let us know if you would ever like to come back again for a visit.

Mac Slover

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Courage to Live BIG!

We are excited to unveil our newest addition to the Kelley Cares Miracle Field this Saturday! The mural was inspired by the Courage Wall, a project launched last year by Alexandria resident and business owner Nancy Belmont. Artist Matt Corrado created a vibrant design with the words, “Courage to Live BIG.”

Saturday Event Program (pdf)

The colorful, larger-than-life art will face the Kelley Cares Miracle Field. The Theme of the wall – the Courage to Live Big – particularly applies to the special needs players in the Miracle League Program. Every day, they show the courage to face life’s challenges and keep moving forward.

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The project will be the city’s first long-standing interactive mural, with chalkboard space for participants in the City of Alexandria Therapeutic Recreation Program to write and draw, adding their contributions in colorful chalk. The Therapeutic Recreation youth and adults inspired the portion of the mural reading “Time to Play!” A cluster of hand prints from participants in the program illustrates the power of diversity in building unity.

The project will be unveiled on Saturday, April 23 at 12:30PM, just before the season’s first Miracle League baseball game. The unveiling will be a family-friendly celebration of courage, featuring a performance by the Rainbow Rock Band, a mindfulness moment by the Mindful Junkie, Gina Rollo White, reflections on courage by Therapeutic Recreation participants and a cookout featuring Southblock juices. The public is encouraged to attend the unveiling and stay for the game.

The mural is a true community partnership, with funds and brainpower contributed by the City of Alexandria, Kelley Cares Foundation, Miracle League of Alexandria, lululemon Alexandria#WeLiveBig, Gravitate Solutions and Jen Walker the Realtor for Del Ray & Beyond.