By Portia Williams
As the issue of bullying becomes more prevalent in schools and overall society, Brenda Strickland area educator is continuing to educate the community by offering an anti-bullying program which teaches youth abstaining from behavior which perpetuates bullying.
“This is bullying awareness and prevention with character building education. I have been doing this for about 10 years in different schools,” Strickland said.
In addition to implementing her anti-bullying program within the local school districts, Strickland has collaborated with ‘Make a Difference Camps,’ as well different churches.
“I have worked with Maxine Malone for the Make a Difference Camps, and have taught the Young Peace Makers Clubs, and have set those up in congregations in two states. I did that for 20 years. Peace Makers involves conflict resolution, and how to handle things in a peaceful way without lashing out,” she said. “Peace Makers is an ongoing program that our church sponsors, which is Community of Christ,” she said.
Offering programs that promote anti-bullying is paramount for the time in which we live.
“As a person, as a minister, as a teacher, and a mother I have always felt called into this. This is a passion of mine to help others to treat others with respect and love and acceptance because we just don’t have it, it has been lost somewhere,” she said.
“I feel like if we can reach the children at young ages, and plant the seeds that it will help to slow more violent, and hurtful things that have been going on as a result of bullying,” she said.
The workshop at the 14th Street Community Center included information called ‘Know Bullying,’
“Today we will learning about ‘Know Bullying,’ which in the ‘know’ it has n and an o. The concept is to ‘know’ it, but don’t do it. They will take a pledge to stop bullying, and sign a pledge to help them to get through the school year. They are pledging to be on guard, and to have their eyes open to bullying. With their own two hands they will voice their actions that they can make a difference in a positive way.
She said the workshop also included what is called the Bucket-filling game.
“We will play the Bucket-filling game in which the hurtful words are thrown into a bucket which are heavy rocks. Each time a hurtful word is said it will be place into a bucket that a child will hold. The child holding the bucket will feel the heaviness of those words. There is also a bucket of kindness and loving words which is light-weight with words written on it,” Strickland said. “The child will feel the easiness of caring the loving words along with them in their lives.”
Strickland said she will be participating in the River Days Day parade, and is inviting anyone in the community who desires to come out and participate as they walk for bullying.
“At the Rivers Day parade I am getting a float together and I am inviting all groups, individuals, all ages, and anyone who wants to walk with us to come out to walk in the awareness of bullying. I have t-shirts that I’ve ordered, but you do not have to have that specific shirt,” she said. “We will walk as a team, and a community together. Walkers should plan to be down at the float (at Spartan Stadium) by 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 30, because the parade is supposed to start at 11 a.m.”
For more information regarding Brenda Strickland’s Bullying Program, or the bullying awareness walk, call 740-464-4681, To place an order for a t-shirt, contact Special Touch Embroidery at 740-858-2241.
Portia Williams can be reached at 740-370-0712 or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.