Think anti-bullying programs are boring? Think again!
Think libraries are boring? Absolutely not!
Well, to some kids they are, but when you have dedicated librarians that are determined to make a difference in the lives of children as well as the people that come into their home, it can be a magical experience... literally!
Anne Crawford, Youth Services Coordinator for St. Johns County Public Library System in Florida, has recently been awarded a Barbara A. Kay Foundation grant. She is dedicating the majority of the funds to system-wide anti-bullying magic shows presented by Magician Mark Alan.
I have worked professionally with Mark for ten years -- since the beginning of my career -- and last summer, prior to school starting in 2013, he came to my branch library (Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library), as well as the Southeast Branch Library and the Hastings Branch Library, to present a new magic show he had created that was specifically targeted toward anti-bullying. It was a huge success at my library in particular! We had nearly one hundred people come -- which, unfortunately, is extremely rare for these kinds of programs -- and the show received rave reviews from the parents and caregivers.
What Mark did that no one had done before was to take this tricky topic and, rather than make it preachy, he presented it in a fun and engaging way so that the kids felt not only empowered as to what they each could do if they were bullied, but even more what they could do if they saw someone else being bullied, which I think is a key component in eradicating bullying. The kids who attended really got into it!
Anne knows that keeping the attention of young children is not an easy task; however, teaching kids about bullying prevention is critical, so she was determined to find a way to get the message to them. And it's working!
Have you visited your local library recently? You might be amazed at what they have to offer!
• Are you a student or a member of a school, library, or organization that's starting an anti-bullying program? Be sure to utilize the #TakeNoBullies resources.
• Check your local library calendar for events that interest you and your kids, attend them.
• Friend your public library on Facebook for frequent updates.