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SOURCE PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center
MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 13 million American children are bullied each year – that's one of every three students – and bullying significantly impacts the emotional and physical well-being of those involved. Educators, parents, and students are searching for solutions. Research shows that peer support is an effective way to stop bullying. PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center recently launched the "WE WILL Generation™," a nationwide campaign and peer-to-peer curriculum that will provide students with the tools they need to speak up on behalf of their peers and prevent bullying in their schools, the community, and online.
"We recognize that students are in the best position to have the greatest influence with their peers," said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center. "Bullying directly affects students and they want to make a difference. The WE WILL Generation™ provides students with the tools to do that."
Launched in October 2013 during PACER's National Bullying Prevention Month, the WE WILL Generation™ is student-led with adult support. It is built around the concept that older students can learn to teach younger students how to respond when they see a bullying situation. For example, high school students will present the five-part program to younger high school students or those in middle school. Members of sports teams will learn how to teach their younger counterparts.
"Today's students, like no other generation before them, have the opportunity to address bullying and change the culture," Hertzog said. "Students want to do the right thing and what they need is education, support, and inspiration – and a practical program that equips them to be leaders."
The WE WILL Generation™ offers schools a practical curriculum that can be quickly and easily implemented at no cost. All of the teaching tools and materials are web-based (PACER.org/bullying/wewillgen) for easy access. Students will be encouraged to submit creative content – videos in particular – that will be incorporated into the program on an ongoing basis.
When it comes to effectively responding to bullying, Hertzog believes that there is no simple one-step solution. Rather, it requires everyone to take a role in creating safer communities and schools, and students play an especially important role. "When students 'own' this issue they have incredible capacity to influence change," she said. "The WE WILL Generation™ gives them an identity, a framework, and the knowledge they need to make an even greater impact."
PACER developed the program with support from Green Giant, as well as other corporations such as Disney.
About PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center: Founded in 2006, PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center, actively leads social change, so that bullying is no longer considered an accepted childhood rite of passage. PACER provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators, and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students. For more information, visit PACER.org/bullying
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