Harlem Globetrotter brings anti-bully message to North Augusta Elementary School

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:22 PM
Last updated 6:29 PM
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NORTH AUGUSTA — The multicolored basketball glided smoothly around Harlem Globetrotter Anthony “Buckets” Blakes’ torso and under his legs as he stood in the circle in the middle of an outdoor basketball court Tuesday.

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Anthony "Buckets" Blakes, of the Harlem Globetrotters, performs some fancy ball tricks for children at North Augusta Elementary School.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Anthony "Buckets" Blakes, of the Harlem Globetrotters, performs some fancy ball tricks for children at North Augusta Elementary School.

The North Augusta Elementary School pupils assembled around the court’s edges cheered and clapped as the ball spun on his finger and head and made rings around his arms and shoulders.

“That ball was magic,” first-grader Matthew Porter said afterward.

Blakes’ visit to the school was the prize for a contest held by James Brown Arena. Schools were given a contest code, and the school with the most tickets purchased with their code for Friday’s Globetrotter game won the visit.

Blakes taught the kids the ABCs of Bullying Prevention, a community outreach program of the Globetrotters aimed at elementary school-age children. The program emphasizes Action, Bravery and Compassion in dealing with bullies.

One of his tips was for kids to hang out in groups that have similar interests, such as art or music.

“Bullies tend to stay away from groups,” he told the youngsters.

Blakes said the team has performed outreach programs 420 times as a unit. In every city the Globetrotters visit, members do media rounds, television and radio spots, and visit schools and hospitals, he said.

“We’re doing (bullying program) now because we’ve partnered with the National Campaign to Stop Violence,” Blakes said after the demonstration.

Kindergartner Lucy Goff said she learned to walk away if she’s being bullied.

Matthew said he also learned to walk away if someone is hitting or pushing him.

“When somebody’s not going to stop doing things to you, you can tell the principal or a grown-up or your teacher,” he said.

Guidance counselor Jean Taylor said the program fit perfectly with the guidance curriculum she is following.

“It was nice for them to hear it from somebody famous,” she said. “I can follow up with all this material and continue on with his magic circle and his ABCs of bullying.”

Reach Lisa Kaylor at (706) 828-3884

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afadel 04/10/14 - 07:58 am
Bullying Prevention Program, Fri, Apr 11, 10 am at HQ Library


Kathy Hersh is scheduled to speak on Friday, April 11, at 10am at The Headquarters Library, 823 Telfair Street, Augusta, GA 30901. We’re using Room B on the first floor. Rather than going through the glass doors to the Circulation Desk, go down the hallway to the right. RSVP and Share on Facebook.

Ms. Hersh will address the root cause of bullying and give practical advice about how bullying can be stopped before it gets started. Bullying is the result of an imbalance of power and the need that some children and adults have to dominate or manipulate others to increase their own sense of power and social status. There are non-violent ways to interrupt this process and create pro-social environments in school and workplaces. Children can learn these techniques and when reinforced in classrooms, entire schools can change their environments to more positive, emotionally safe places for children to learn.

Kathy Hersh has been working in the bullying prevention field for ten years, giving workshops to adults and youth, writing articles and reviewing books on bullying for the New York Journal of Books. She is active in youth advocacy. Kathy lives in Miami.

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