DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla: Be Strong, a national, student-led youth empowerment organization dedicated to ending bullying in schools, is leading the charge to assure that no child lives with the isolation and fear of being bullied.
In an effort to spread awareness in schools and the community, the organization will begin broadcasting its bullying prevention documentary online, reaching millions of school officials, as well as students and their parents or guardians throughout the United States.
The Be Strong Documentary National Screening kick-off event, presented by JM Family Enterprises Inc. and The California Channel, will be held at Deerfield Beach Middle School on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 8:30 a.m. Area students and educators, along with leadership from the local Urban League and YWCA chapters, will be in attendance at this milestone viewing.
"Be Strong strives to inspire kids to act empowered and encourage change in their peers," said Ashleigh Cromer, executive director of Be Strong. "This documentary is our attempt to meet students where they are and provide sustainable education and resources for change, in a digestible, actionable and entertaining way. Our youth are smart, open, inspiring and our most precious resource - I'm motivated by their resiliency and ability to connect in a way that's comfortable for them."
The 45-minute documentary will feature remarks and best practices for preventing and recovering from bullying by best-selling author, Broadway performer and motivational speaker Jessie Funk, and recording artists Linkin' Bridge and Breaking Heights, along with Be Strong student leaders and several bullying victims whose inspirational stories of strength and perseverance have made national headlines.
"Every child should be able to attend school in a safe environment and feel comfortable and appreciated for who they are," said Colin Brown, chairman and CEO of JM Family. "Empowering families and nurturing children are at the core of our philanthropy, which is why we are proud to partner with and support Be Strong."
The Be Strong Documentary will generate much-needed awareness of the issue, including how to identify, prevent and end bullying, and identify support options available to help from a position of victory not victimization. Viewers will be encouraged to change the way bullying prevention is perceived, initiating hope and resilience to create long-term change.
"When schools take the time to implement research-based programming in this area, not only does it decrease bullying and cyberbullying - it also accomplishes the goals that educators care most about," says Dr. Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and Be Strong board member. "Specifically, these efforts lead to a positive school climate, which then increases academic achievement, lowers absenteeism and truancy, reduces other problem behaviors on campus, and raises morale among both students and staff. I fully support the mission and impact of the Be Strong movement."
The California Channel is working to achieve Be Strong's mission. John Hancock President & CEO "Given the mission of Be Strong, and the successful experience and response we had last year. The California Channel is more than pleased and excited to bring this important timely issue to California schools, homes, community organizations and our youth as a whole."
Tony Shawcross, Executive Director of Open Media Foundation, shares "At a time when teen suicide is on the rise, Denver Open Media is proud to be airing this documentary together with Be Strong in the hopes that it will facilitate conversation among parents, guardians, and teens."
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