By Lindsay Ducharme
The back to school season represents the excitement of a fresh start for many students. Unfortunately, for others it means a return to the daily fear of bullying. Schools across Fort McMurray are taking a proactive approach to prevent bullying this year with the introduction of a cutting-edge program. For 21 days beginning on October 1st, schools throughout the Wood Buffalo region will participate in the Be The Game anti-bullying campaign.
“Over the course of 21 days, we help the students to shift into a positive mindset. The students are given booklets to track their daily acts of kindness (teaching responsibility), we provide the school with morning announcements of inspiration that the students read over the PA system and we nominate ‘team leaders’ in each class,” explains Joe Drexler, founder of Be The Game.
Be The Game, a Toronto based organization dedicated to making a difference in children’s lives, was created by Drexler in 2008. Drexler strives to “build strong kids from the inside out” through the Be The Game program. Inspired by a random act of kindness, Be The Game was created to “help children build confidence, self esteem, character and develop tomorrow’s leaders today.”
Members of Be The Game organization will be on hand for the duration of the 21-day challenge. The program, which revolves around encouraging students to complete and record random acts of kindness, boasts over 225,000 students participants who have logged over 750,000 acts of kindness.
“We are very proud. The program is designed to change the mindset of aggressive children and to build the confidence of children that may have been the target of aggressive behaviour,” Drexler explained.
“The Be The Game 21 Day Challenge differs from other anti-bullying programs by focusing on positive changes in children and giving them the tools to make changes to their schools, sporting events, family units and communities.”
“The focus is to launch our program that will help develop core leadership amongst the students by providing them with the tools to succeed while building a foundation for the entire school year and more,” he added.
Students participating in the program are encouraged to perform and record at least one act of kindness a day throughout the 21 day challenge. Upon completion of the program, students are left with additional monthly themes and goals.
For more information on Be The Game 21-Day anti-bullying challenge visit the website bethegame.ca, or follow #bekindeverytime on Twitter.