You’ve probably watched the scene, or one like it.
A bully picks on a kid in a school yard, until the victim gets riled up and smacks the perpetrator in the nose.
A DVD produced by the Henderson County Performing Arts Center shows bullying to be a much more serious problem.
HCPAC Executive Director Dennis Gilmore said the DVD was done using students in the center’s Youth Excellence on stage program both in front of and behind the camera. Nine months in the making, the DVD features local students in the roles of a timid teenage girl and her tormentors.
“What’s going to happen now is – we have a packet with the DVD, a study guide and 10 different stop-bullying posters that are going to be made available to school districts in the East Texas region,” Gilmore said.
“The theater was commissioned by the East Texas Communities Foundation to develop the stop-bullying program. We completed that project, and will be distributing DVDs and Study Guides to 35 ISDs and 140 campuses across the region. The school districts receiving the packets range from Longview in the east, to Kaufman in the west,” Gilmore said.
The DVD begins with the dramatization of a news report stating that a tragedy has happened at a fictional high school. Via a flashback, we see the story unfold of how a female student is ridiculed and pushed around, until she takes her own life. Students tell the reporter they wish they had done something that might have made a difference.
The DVD was shown at the Athens Kiwanis meeting on Feb. 12.
“The video is a proactive approach,” HCPAC Education Coordinator Teri Kirksey said. “We have the video, and we have the curriculum to go into the schools, and say ‘We have a plan for you to open up the dialogue with students and parents in a way to get the discussion flowing.’”
Kirksey hopes the video will not only shine a light on the problem, but also yield positive results.
“We hope students will become ambassadors for their fellow students, and stand up, and say ‘This is not right.’”
Gilmore said the video got a boost from the Athens Independent School District.
“The exciting thing about it, we met with Athens Superintendent Blake Stiles, and showed him the DVD, and information we had put together,” Gilmore said. “He liked it so much, he invited us to come back two weeks later, and present it to his leadership team.”
When the leadership team saw it, they also responded positively.
HCPAC produces DVD about bullying
You’ve probably watched the scene, or one like it.
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Theater director ends 25 years
Former owner of the Athens Review, Richard “Dick” Dwelle said it best: “There are so very many people who have made significant contributions to this community, but it would be difficult to find anyone who has had a greater impact for good on the youth of Athens than Dennis Gilmore.”
After 25 years as Executive Director of The Henderson County Performing Arts Center, Gilmore announced his retirement from HCPAC.
Chandler resident Tom Booth shot free throws for 24 hours to raise money for God’s Open Hands and a sports missionary. He overcame three surgeries to set a new record for shots made during the fourth annual Free Throws for Souls event held Friday-Saturday at Chandler First Assembly of God. He took 24,575 shots and made 15,750 for a 64 percent success rate. The goal is to raise more than $30,000 to donate all the proceeds toward missions work.
Kiwanis Pancake Day
The Athens Kiwanis Pancake Day started with a bit of uncertainty because of the weather, but ended with a steady stream of customers.
When the last griddle had been put away, the Kiwanis had served 1,525 customers, and raised over $20,000, before expenses.
Master Gardeners present giant check
The Henderson County Commissioners Court heard the annual report of a hard-working group on Tuesday.
The Henderson County Master Gardeners presented a giant check to represent the value of the volunteer work the organization performed in 2013.
Adopt a Bucket
As part of the activities surrounding the Color Fun Run for Water benefitting Hope Springs Water on March 22, participants will have the opportunity to adopt a bucket of water for the day for only $20.
The bucket is symbolic of those carried by mostly women and children in countries without access to clean water each day.
Citizens Academy coming
As a part of the City of Chandler’s ongoing effort to communicate information, provide transparency and promote citizen involvement, Mayor Ann Hall and the City Council established the Chandler Citizens Academy in 2013.
The first session was held April-May 2013, and was deemed a success by organizers and attendees.
A second academy is planned for 2014, with the first class scheduled for Tuesday, April 15.
Fighting for life
Family and friends have rallied around 20-year old Aaron Jenkins.
Three weeks ago Jenkins, a Mabank resident and former Trinity Valley Community College student, was diagnosed with liver cancer.
Aaron's Aunt Sheila Guill said, “He's pretty sick, but Aaron has a high pain tolerance and doesn't complain.”
Lake Palestine, Athens above levels, CCL close
Lakes Athens and Palestine are above their normal levels, while Cedar Creek Lake to the west still needs a good downpour to close the gap.
On Monday, when the average Texas lake stood at just 64.3 percent of full. Lake Athens had a reading of 440.06 feet, just above its average.
Three arrested for drugs
Drug offenses led to three Athens Police Department arrests over the weekend according to reports.
The first incident on Friday night resulted in the arrest of Joshua Paul Rogers, 25, for evading arrest and possession of a controlled substance. Rogers remained in custody on Monday, with bond set at $9,000 on the two charges.
County unemployment edges upward
Henderson County unemployment edged upward in January, falling between the state and national rates.
The January Texas Workforce Commission Report, issued on Friday, gave Henderson County a 6.1 percent reading, after a 6.0 percent rate in December. The national unemployment figure was 7.1 percent, while Texas enjoyed its lowest mark since 2008, 5.7 percent.
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