Pathways Walkathon for Bullying Prevention: A Step in the Right Direction
[Bullying] exists almost everywhere, but where it doesn't exist is in your mind - Richard Cruz, Carteret High School graduate 2013
For two years running, PATHWAYS has sponsored an annual walkathon for the prevention of bullying which campaigns against the damaging acts of harassment, intimidation and bullying in an effort to support the overall health and well-being of Carteret youth.
The idea for this event initially came from PATHWAYS PALS student leaders, who felt strongly that too many of their peers were still experiencing some form of bullying, and that the community should do something to help create change. The Walkathon is designed to prevent bullying by raising awareness and providing education in the Carteret community that bullying is a serious, sometimes life threatening problem. The event also conveys an important message to youth who have been affected by bullying that the district has resources to support them, and that they are not alone.
The facilitation of the walkathon itself is largely student volunteer driven, with students welcoming walkers, greeting important members of the community, setting up and cleaning up, working registration and information tables, and cheerleading walkers along the route. This event not only benefits all students in Carteret who are vulnerable to the devastating effects of bullying, but it has also given our PATHWAYS student leaders and volunteers a sense of empowerment and ownership over such an important example of community activism. These students know their contributions continue to be necessary to make the event possible and successful.