POINT PLEASANT — This Friday, Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School (PPJ/SHS) students will be visited by a jazz musician who will not only play them some smooth tunes, but will also be speaking with them about bullying and making right choices.
Smooth jazz Musician and Founder of the Chocolate Jazz Foundation 501C3 David Wells has been going into public schools across the nation in hopes of putting an end to the bullying epidemic sweeping the country.
Wells shared he was often criticized and bullied in one of the largest public schools in Dallas, Texas.
“I had low self esteem, but through perseverance and hard work, I’m living my dream,” said Wells.
He has been playing the trumpet since the age of nine and has released a total of 14 albums within the span of his musical career. Wells is endorsed by Conn/Selmer, the largest band manufacturing company, as a national performer and he has shared the stage with top artists in the “smooth jazz” genre.
He is the founder of a national syndicated radio show that is in 20 different markets across the country. Also, Wells is the founder of several music festivals such as the Vienna Rib and Jazz Festival, Huntsville Rib and Jazz Festival, Nashville Rib and Jazz Festival, and the Bowling Green Rib and Music Festival.
Wells has accomplished a lot in his career, but as a musician he wanted to influence and inspire the younger generation by going into the public schools and speaking about the power of music, achieving dreams, and most importantly putting an end to bullying.
Traveling to high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools across the country, Wells has one main goal which is to inspire teenagers and children to be kind to one another, to always stick up for what they believe in, and to never be afraid to speak out.
Studies show one out of three kids are bullied every day of the school year;
One out of five kids do the bullying;
Over 160,000 kids do not go to school because they are afraid of being bullied;
64 percent of children who are bullied do not report it and only 36 percent actually report being bullied;
School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying up to 25 percent; and
One out of four students report being bullied during the school year.
Wells wants to get the word out to the public and put an end to bullying as well as hopefully have the students believe in the power of music as much as he does.
The assembly he has planned for the students at PPJ/SHS will cover the topic of bullying and making right choices, including a mini-concert, videos, student participation, and a motivational message.
Some information from McCallion and Feder research documents and the National Center for Educational Statistics was used in this article.