Foundation Sponsors Stop Bullying Seminar

WELLSVILLE, N.Y.,

Board members present the big check for bullying seminar

Two staff members from the Finger Lakes Parent Association (from left), Cadi Morse, teen services coordinator, and Alison Greene, family consultant for Allegany County, accept a check from two board members from the Allegany County Area Foundation, Leslie Haggstrom and Lori Dzielski. The grant is in support of two anti-bullying workshops to be presented on Saturday, May 19, one in the morning at Houghton College and one in the afternoon at the Wellsville library.

MAY 16, 2012—Members of the board of directors of the Allegany County Area Foundation presented an $852 check today to two staff members of the Finger Lakes Parent Network (FLPN), a grant to support the development and presentation of an anti-bullying workshop inAlleganyCounty.

Young people from the FLPN’s teen program have planned the workshop and will present it twice on Saturday, May 19. The first presentation will be at the Chamberlain Center on the campus of Houghton College, from10 a.m.-12 noon, followed by an afternoon session at the David A. Howe Library in Wellsville, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Both are free of charge and open to the public and refreshments will be served at each.

“Bullying is a number one topic right now,” said Alison Greene, a family consultant forAllegany County with FLPN. “Kids have always picked on each other; unfortunately its part of the nature of kids,” she said, “but bullying has gone to the next level…Too often, there’s no culpability and it’s even escalated to such a level that children have taken their own lives.”

The interactive workshop the teenagers have planned will address the issue for those who are the targets of bullying, for those who have done so themselves and for others who may have seen it happen and wondered what to do. It will also include discussion for parents of young people on all sides of the issue.

Asked why the organization wanted to stage the workshop, Cadi Morse, teen services coordinator for FLPN, said, “It is an important topic, and the teens wanted to figure out a way to reach out to the community.

“The teens are the ones who set up [the contents of] the workshop,” she said, “The teens felt like this was something that was needed.”

Morse said that one teen in particular, Maggie Coates, will share her experiences with being made fun of after she started displaying symptoms of Tourette’s Syndrome. The workshop will also include some ice-breaking small group activities and a larger group discussion, led by three teenagers. Coates will share a PowerPoint presentation she put together to educate her schoolmates on the issues. The teens will also review a series of rights and responsibilities for victims of bullying and those who observe it.

“The Foundation’s board of directors felt like this is an important issue,” said Doug Roorbach, executive director of the Allegany County Area Foundation, “So when the Finger Lakes Parent Network asked for a grant to bring a workshop on it to the young people in Allegany County, the board wanted to help out.” He pointed out that the Foundation’s support is part of the reason why the workshop will be free to all who want to attend.