Together with representatives from Armour, STOMP Out Bullying and Albert Leonard Middle School, Lopez addressed the students about the importance of bullying prevention and answered questions on what they can do to create a bully-free environment.
“Bullying has reached epidemic proportions with one in four young people being bullied,” said Lopez. “Through the efforts of organizations like STOMP Out Bullying and advocates like Armour, we are raising awareness and teaching children important skills to combat this problem. I’m proud to team up with them for this Pep Rally and Blue Shirt Day® World Day of Bullying Prevention to do my part to help stop bullying.”
Albert Leonard Middle School was selected as the site of the Pep Rally because of the school’s involvement and progress in anti-bullying efforts.
“Middle School is a wonderful time for students to discover who they are as people and to explore their likes and dislikes,” said John Barnes, principal of Albert Leonard Middle School. “That being said, it is often a time where many students feel isolated and alone. Bullying can often be the cause of kids not feeling special and embracing themselves as the wonderful individuals they are. With social media and technology being so readily accessible, bullying can happen in ways which look quite different than when I was growing up. We need to insure our students are prepared to address these situations and work together to turn all the bystanders into upstanders. The future of our country rests in the hands of our youth. We are committed to changing the future for all our kids with the help of Stomp Out Bullying and the generous contributions made by Armour to celebrate our progress to date and our mission to eradicate bullying of all kinds.”
Armour and STOMP Out Bullying have teamed up with a national partnership to drive awareness of bullying and cyberbullying prevention. Armour, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has donated $75,000 to the organization and is driving awareness via specially-marked packages of top-selling Armour LunchMakers and BreakfastMakers varieties, in-store signage and social media.
In addition, at today’s rally, students received official STOMP Out Bullying World Day of Bullying Prevention blue t-shirts and wristbands, Armour-branded lunch bags and samples of Armour LunchMakers and BreakfastMakers.
“Today, people across the world are joining together in a sea of blue shirts to make waves in support of anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying,” said Charles Gitkin, vice president, marketing, innovation and R&D for the John Morrell Food Group. “Armour is a brand that is embraced by families and kids across the country, and we are proud to do our part in addressing this important issue which affects so many people. Through education and awareness, we will help STOMP Out Bullying, and spread this important message to those that need it most.”
Blue Shirt Day® World Day of Bullying Prevention was established by STOMP Out Bullying in 2008 as a mechanism to engage kids, teens, and adults around the world in anti-bullying and cyberbullying efforts. Held on the first Monday of each October to coincide with National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, the initiative encourages people of all ages to wear blue shirts in a demonstration of solidarity and to take action and make that the day that bullying prevention is heard around the world.
“Blue Shirt Day® World Day of Bullying Prevention is the most important day on the calendar for STOMP Out Bullying,” said Ross Ellis, the organization’s founder and CEO. “On this day everyone can show their commitment to stand up against bullying. To see this spirited, empowered ground of young people from Albert Leonard Middle School and recognize the difference that they are making, individually and collectively, is a great reminder of the role each of us can play in helping to end this epidemic that is tormenting our young people. We’re grateful for the support from Armour and Mario to help us continue to build awareness and educate students and the public about all forms of bullying.”