WHY WALK? Why is an anti-bullying walk particularly important at this time? Because bullying is a serious problem that negatively impacts hundreds of thousands of people each day. Not just kids, all people. And cyberbullying is escalating at an alarming rate. More than 160,000 kids in the U.S. avoid school each day because they fear being bullied, according to the NJ Commission on Bullying in Schools report released in December 2012 (www.njbullying.org). The National Youth Violence Prevention Center states that almost 30% of youth in the U.S. (over 5.7 million) are estimated to be involved in bullying as either a bully, a target of bullying, or both. Incessant 24/7 bullying too often results in youth suicides. Bullying should be considered intolerable — and the problem needs to be addressed now.
In addition to bringing the community together in solidarity against bullying, funds raised from the Walk will go towards Kidsbridge’s impactful and targeted programs. Each year more than 2,500 New Jersey youth and educators visit the Kidsbridge Tolerance Center to learn strategies to combat bullying and cyberbullying. The Center’s interactive exhibits teach children to identify and address prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes, name-calling and bullying through respect, empathy and compassion. The Kidsbridge Tolerance Center program is ‘evidence-based;’ statistics support improvements in attitude and understanding of concepts by the visiting students after spending just a single four-hour session. And as the only youth-focused tolerance center in the U.S., there is no other organization doing what exactly what Kidsbridge does.
Whether it is a youngster having an epiphany about how his or her own actions affect others while visiting the Tolerance Center, a youth receiving guidance and finding the inspiration to finish high school or pursue college, or a student learning empowerment strategies to lessen the pain of victimization and end bullying, Kidsbridge is changing the lives of youth and educators in profound and lasting ways. Let’s create as many “bully-free zones” as we can! Let’s turn as many bystanders into UPstanders as we can! By walking together and raising awareness, we can END bullying and cyberbullying.
Walk Fundraising Benefits
All fundraising individuals will receive:
- Over $1000: an embroidered hooded sweatshirt and Walk T-shirt
- Over $500: an embroidered baseball cap and Walk T-shirt
- Over $250: an aluminum water bottle and Walk T-shirt
- Over $100: a drawstring sports bag and Walk T-shirt
- Over $25: a Walk T-shirt and a wristlet