Wear orange and make it end! Bullying, that is. Oct. 9 is Unity Day, and Elevate Within, along with PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center want to stop bullying, and offer creative ways for educators and parents help get the word out that "it's not OK to bully or be bullied."
On Oct. 9, Elevate Within, a local peer support organization headed by Jennifer Pickard, urges everyone to wear orange, whether it's a tee shirt, a bracelet or an orange ribbon, to give bullying victims a show of strength and a day of triumph.
And to assist those who want to support the group's anti-bullying campaign, Elevate Within will make free orange ribbons available to anyone who stops in at the following businesses: The Barnes County Historical Society Museum, Barnes County Senior Center, Valley City State University Student Center, Valley City City Hall, Urban Couture, Budget Home Furnishings, Market Place, Leever's, Valley City Veterinarian Hospital, Shopko, and Verizon Wireless.
According to Pickard, every day more than 160,000 children nationwide stay home from school to avoid being bullied. The effects of bullying are immediate and can be lifelong – or even tragic.
"This is a very real and painful issue that kids are facing," said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER's. "But they don't have to face it alone, and bullying can be prevented if we all work together."
"Bullying can lead to painful results, not only for the youth who are bullied, but for the students who engage in it, the school and the whole community," said Jodi Rae Ingstad, Public Relations Coordinator for Elevate Within. Ingstad will read the Big Galoot, a book written by by Shadoe Stevens that teaches tolerance and never giving up, to several audiences during October and November as a part of the group's anti-bullying campaign.
Also during October, Elevate Within will host several free community events that will feature the film Bully, a film made in 2012 that sparked a national movement to end bullying. Elevate Within can also provide resource information and took kits. For movie dates and times, to host an anti-bullying event or for more information visit www.elevatewithin.com  or call Valerie at (888) 387-3123.
Read this story in Monday's Times-Record.