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Stand Up. Be The ONE

New anti-bullying campaign in Molalla high and middle schools will be supported by Nike and profits from a Molalla dodgeball tournament.


by: COURTESY OF NIKE - T-shirt designed by Nike for the anti-bullying campaign at Molalla schools will be worn by leadership students and student ambassadors in support of the campaign.Stand Up. Be The ONE – sounds a lot like a Nike slogan, but it’s not, exactly. That’s the slogan for a new anti-bullying campaign being brought to Molalla schools this fall. And it will be a dodgeball tournament that will raise the seed money for the campaign.

The tournament, with community teams, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 to benefit anti-bullying education at Molalla High School and Middle School. It is being organized by the Foothills Helping Hands, Healing Hearts organization and sponsored by local businesses, community members and yes, Nike.

Molalla parents Nikki and Ken Matias sat down with high school Principal Randy Dalton and middle school principal Mike Nelson to discuss the anti-bullying campaign idea earlier this year.

“We want to partner with the schools with this plan to make the event sustainable,” said Nikki Matias.

Then the Molalla couple pitched the idea to Foothills and Nike, and got the ball rolling with more sponsors.

“Nike loved the idea and is helping sponsor the dodgeball event,” she said. “They jumped in, saying we could have whatever logo we want on a t-shirt. Then a Nike designer designed the logo, which is Stand Up. Be The ONE. They came alongside us and donated the t-shirts. So we will be giving these specialized Nike shirts to middle school and high school leadership students. We have student ambassadors who will lead the Stand Up Be the ONE campaign in the schools.”

Now the group is working to get the entire community involved by putting together eight-member teams for the dodgeball tournament.

High school students will be canvassing local businesses to gain sponsorships for the event. MCC and Northwest Dental jumped right in with donations, and are listed as “Platinum” sponsors.

“We are buying all the equipment, balls and nets to put on the event,” Nikki Matias said. “Then after this tournament, we will give the high school all the equipment with the hope they will continue to hold the event. The thought was to give our schools some sort of sustainable fundraiser, and then have them take the ball and run with it in coming years. The tournament benefits the schools, raising the money for the anti-bullying education and to bring more awareness among students about leadership in standing up against bullying.”

Molalla Superintendent Tony Mann said he is behind the campaign.

“Safe schools, socially and emotionally, are nonnegotiable, and it has to be that way for all kids,” Mann said. “I think the work we do connecting to the community like this is about saying what we believe as a community, not just a school district, and it’s those community beliefs that become the proactive foundation for everything that happens.”

Money raised by the dodge ball tournament will help fund the assemblies in the high school tentatively set for Sept. 20.

Kenny Matias said principals Randy Dalton and Mike Nelson feel it is important for the two schools to work together on the anti-bullying campaign. The current plan is to hold two assemblies in the gym, one for high school students and the second for middle schoolers. Matias said the schools want to have a cool speaker who will inspire the kids and keep them engaged.

“We are excited because if we can get the high school and middle school together on the same campaign, that will resonate with the kids,” Nikki Matias said.

The idea is that the anti-bullying campaign would become an ongoing effort in the schools, with parents and community members reinforcing the spirit of respect for each other all year round.

“Students need repetitive action and a community to support the ongoing event to educate the students,” she said. “Who doesn’t want to have their kids learning about respect and making choices they can be proud of at school? We are trying to gain a safe zone. If a student is a witness to something happening they don’t think is right— if they see a student treating another student badly. How do you get them to step forward? The more there is a safe zone — teachers, family and community — in support of them stepping forward, the students will be more likely to step up and do the right thing. We are trying to put the fire out before it starts. So bullying is something that starts with one person then passes to bystanders. We want to be able to diffuse such situations and keep them from happening in the first place.

“That’s what we are really aiming to get those kids,” she added. “Not so much focusing on bullying, but on stopping it before it starts, because teachers won’t always be around to help stop such a situation, especially cyber bullying. We are trying to teach our kids to be proactive.”

Kenny Matias, who is the Nike basketball brand marketing operations director, said the anti-bullying program is right in line with the mission statement of the company. Part of the Nike mission statement is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world — the asterisk: if you have a body, you are an athlete.

“The thing about Nike is it’s completely inclusive of everyone,” he said. Everyone deserves inclusion and acceptance, and that is what is at the heart of Stand Up and Be The ONE. It’s about empowering kids to be leaders, and in doing that, making changes to ensure everyone is valued that way. Nike has been really supportive of the work we are doing.”

The company, he said, takes a strong perspective in inspiring leadership in kids.

“So Nike is supportive of anything connected to inspiring youth to do bigger and better things and raise up leaders from local youth,” he said. “There are several Nike programs helping kids realize their potential, and this is a great way to help kids recognize their own potential as leaders.”

HERE'S THE GAME RULES:

Anyone can form a team for the dodgeball tournament, whether a family, business or a group of friends. Each team must have eight players, with a minimum of two people from the opposite gender and a captain. Team members younger then 18 must turn in parent/guardian waiver. (Kids must be 13 and older to play.)

The entry fee is $10 per player or $80 per community team to register.

The cost of registration covers team bags for each player with water and a small snack (this is not a business sponsor registration package).

Make all checks payable to Molalla High School; memo: Dodgeball. Turn in completed registration form no later then Friday Sept 27.

All funds will directly support Molalla High School and Molalla Middle School anti-bullying curriculum and education.

Mail registration to MHS Dodgeball Tournament PO Box 1121, Molalla, OR, 97038

To register as a participant in the event, go online at http://molalla.net/documents/20131005_dodgeballCompleteRegPacket.pdf.

Send registration and waiver forms to: MHS Dodgeball Tournament, Attn: Nikki Matias, PO Box 1121, Molalla, OR, 97038. For more information, call Matias at 503-314-1444.



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