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VCU Nursing Program Visits Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club for Family Night and Red Ribbon Week Celebration

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Released 31 October 2011

vcuVCU Nursing Program Visits Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club for Family Night and Red Ribbon Week Celebration

In late October, faculty and students from Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Nursing visited The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club to take part in the Club's annual Red Ribbon Week celebration.

The group from VCU participated in the Club's Family Night festivities and held various sessions dealing with the topic of bullying; a very timely topic that so many of The Salvation Army club members face each and every day.

The Club members were divided into age groups, with each breakout session conducting age appropriate activities that dealt directly with the topic of bullying.

Those members that were 6 to 8 years old were read "Lucy and the Bully," and were asked to draw a bully, someone being bullied, or someone in their life who has stepped in to stop a bully. The 9 to 13 year old members were tasked with performing skits dealing with why bullying is a topic that is important to everyone. The 14 to 18 year old members played a game show that focused on raising awareness, "Bullying Blitz."

When the evening began, all the Club members were handed a piece of paper and told to crumple it, fold it, or tear it any way they wished. When the breakout sessions concluded, the Club members were then asked to take out that piece of paper and try to straighten it out and repair it the best way they could.

"The message of the paper was simple, bullying is something that leaves permanent emotional scars and something that youth today face day in and day out," said Hugh Jones, Executive Director for The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club.

"We were delighted that VCU could address this issue and help us continue to teach our Club members the importance of being better community citizens, better students, and to continue on the path to becoming the leaders of tomorrow."

Family Night ended after an Italian dinner, complete with spaghetti, salad and bread, and VCU gave all the Club members bracelets and their parents were provided information on how to prevent bullying to take home.

Other Red Ribbon Week activities included a visit from the City of Richmond fire department, Club staff and members taking drug free pledges, and the selection of the Club's members of the month; Kalasia Kenny, 8, the Itty Bitty of the Month; Brandon Pleasant, 12 the Tween of the Month; and Dachell Wilkins, 15, the Teen of the Month.

Red Ribbon Week is the nation's oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation reaching millions of Americans during the last week of October every year. By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events, young people pledge to live a drug-free life and pay tribute to DEA Special Agent Enriqué "Kiki" Camarena.

For more information about Red Ribbon Week, please visit http://www.justice.gov/dea/ongoing/redribbon_factsheet.html.


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