Anti-Bullying Awareness Sessions at local elementary schools

Christina Luke, Adrien Ortiz, Pepper and puppet. (Photo by Ed Berti)
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October is designated as national anti-bullying awareness month at schools across the nation.  CMS Community Partnership and Family Engagement has been visiting different CMS schools in Mecklenburg County offering an entertaining and informative program for students.  Yasmine Young Partnership Coordinator has been enthusiastically delivering this message throughout CMS.  Recently on October 31st the team held sessions at Lebanon Road Elementary and Reedy Creek Elementary schools speaking and making various presentations to large groups of students.

Kids having fun with Pepper. (Photo Ed Berti)

There were two guest speakers who participated in this particular program.  Christina Luke a licensed trauma therapist, cognitive behavior specialist and author, along with Shaun Golden who facilitates a program nationwide to get students to understand the importance of setting goals using his partnership with McDonald’s as an incentive to gain the students attention.

Christina Luke started out the program and talked about bullying and how to stand-up to bullies in an appropriate and productive manner.  She also brought along the star of her book Pepper who thoroughly enjoyed the children.  The kids also had a great time with Pepper the dog.  Christina read her book to the children asking questions and generating discussion about bullies including the use of puppets.  The book “The Adventures of Pep The Pup” Standing up to Bullying has a good story.  In the book children can follow Pepper’s path to overcoming different obstacles on their first day of school.  Pep the dog makes many new friends, however, he must steer his way through an encounter with Chop, the bully bull dog.  In the end Chop does learn a very valuable lesson and all ends positively.

Christina Luke and Shaun Golden with puppets on bullying. (Photo Ed Berti)

Shaun Golden a motivational youth speaker and mentor whose focus is on children from elementary school to high school students had a different message.  He talked about the importance of Goal Setting.  The Greer, South Carolina native was a McDonald’s All-American in 1989, a SEC Conference Champion in 1990 and the University of Georgia Team MVP in 1993.  He has been a basketball analyst on ESPN, a college coach and business person since graduation.  He is the founder of Golden Opportunity a 501c3 that is involved in character building, a goal setting program for youth.  The organizations top goal is to challenge the character of youth in school assemblies, mentoring programs and after school programs with an emphasis on goal setting.  Shaun drives the point home by highlighting “Everyday you have a golden opportunity to do something special, go make a difference.”

The entire cast from CMS at Reedy Creek Elementary. (Photo Ed Berti)

It was an inspiring and fun event for the kids, a good learning experience, useful practical good advice given, including solid guidance and direction was provided.  Everyone seemed to have a great time learning a valuable life lesson.

Discussion Topic at Schools. (Photo Ed Berti)
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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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