MyDorchester Night: Play Basketball, Don't Bully
Over 20 percent of students in the U.S. are bullied with some frequency, with the same number reporting that they bully others.* Bullying – both face-to-face and through electronic media – is associated with depression, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. To draw attention to these challenges, SCI Dorchester @ DotWell joined with SCI Milford to create events during AmeriCorps Week, May 8-15, to increase awareness of the seriousness of bullying and address how we as a community can provide youth with healthy alternatives to negative behavior.
SCI Dorchester @ DotWell and SCI Milford recently received a grant from the Massachusetts Service Alliance to design AmeriCorps Week activities to highlight AmeriCorps service programs. SCI’s AmeriCorps Week focused on bullying, kicking off with My Dorchester Night on May 10, 2010 at 3:30pm. MyDorchester Night, in collaboration with the Safe City Unity Basketball League, consisted of a free evening of basketball games, anti-bullying PSAs, promotion of AmeriCorps programs, and introduction to the MyDorchester.org website. Through the generosity of D'Benny's Subs and More, Healthworks @ Codman and DotWell Director of Community Programs Marisa Luse, SCI Dorchester @ DotWell raffled off gift certificates to Dorchester businesses between games.
MyDorchester Night was a fantastic success, with 90 teens in attendance and 22 anti-bullying and anti-bullying in the workplace posters created by 25 I AMM Drawing Club teens. The event kicked off with an announcement by SCI Dorchester @ DotWell AmeriCorps Youth Leadership Coordinator Maggie Casey and DotWell Teen Center Peer Leader Lihn Ho, with DotWell Teen Center member Jaquan Works symbolically breaking through a banner representing bullying in the community. Throughout the evening, youth and individuals took part in competitive basketball games, while learning about the resources offered by the MyDorchester.org website and AmeriCorps service. My Dorchester Night showcased DotWell’s approach to holistic health in the context of its comprehensive approach to bullying by providing a positive activity for youth and their families.
SCI Dorchester’s AmeriCorps Week activities will continue through May 15th with anti-bullying activities at the DotWell Teen Center. These will include free workshops for teens on healthy relationships with local domestic violence organization, Close to Home. SCI is hosting public service announcement workshops with the DotWell Teen Center’s IAMM Arts and Multi-Media Program throughout AmeriCorps Week.
*Melton et al, 1998; Nansel et al, 2001; http://www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/adults/all-about-bullying.aspx