Middle school students Step Up. Step In.
LaGRANGE — Last week, a gym full of Callaway Middle School students clamored to grab bright green T-shirts and sunglasses after the pep rally where they were pumped up to defeat Gardner Newman Middle School.
Even though the neon color didn’t represent the school’s well known red and black, they were supportive of the cause — the Step Up. Step In., or SUSI, bullying awareness campaign.
Over 150 students heard the messages loud and clear about the grant funded program sponsored by the Georgia Department of Public Health, District 4. Other entities are also involved in implementing the campaign in a fun, innovative way throughout the three Troup County middle schools to help ensure the message spreads through the district. In doing so, they have activated a SUSI team that consists of school representatives, district administrators and public health employees.
Throughout the month, they are organizing various activities and events such as SUSI awareness football games — where players and students can be seen wearing bright green socks and attire — distribution of T-shirts and sunglasses, door decorating contests and motivational morning messages.
At Gardner Newman Middle School, students gathered last week for their shirts and sunglasses before starting the door decorating contest. The contest highlights students working together to create artwork that depicts their knowledge of the message to stop bullying whenever, wherever they see it happening.
“It is important to get the message out to the middle school students because they are making decisions about friends, and school and what they like to do,” said Beth Daniel, health promotion program director of Step Up. Step In. “We hope the T-shirts, sunglasses and intercom messages will serve as a reminder to help stop bullying of any kind before it starts.”
Students walking out to the football field for the Callaway Middle versus Gardner Newman Middle football game agreed that the pep rally was a fun way to share a good message. They even donned their green T-shirts and sunglasses.
During Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23–31, the middle school SUSI door decorating contest winners will be revealed and students will be asked to sign aletter of agreement pledging to help others and stop bullying in their community.
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