Submitted by Diane Ryan

(Oct. 2012) On a warm fall evening in October, many young people and adults in their lives crowded into Community Action Partnership’s community room to view, and participate in, the one-man play about Bullying Prevention: Standing By, Standing Up.

The play, written and presented by Tim Collins (originally of the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill area), was a poignant, humorous and timeless portrayal of four adolescents experiencing the pain and sorrow of bullying. He played the parts of the primary bully, his main accomplice and two others who stood by and watched, one scarred by his own experience with a technological betrayal and the teacher who tried to help.

The audience, comprised of young people from 8 to 15 years old, and adults (parents or mentors) were all equally captivated by this performance. Its ageless appeal was apparent by the rapt attention and responses from all in the room. This serious issue has advanced into the 2000 millennium with a vengeance – utilizing such popular modes as audio- and videotaping, Facebook and computer applications that can destroy a young person’s reputation, self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

No parent can possibly overrule or stop the damage that this type of bullying can inflict.

Collins’s depiction of the characters often caused laughter and tears. The adults in the room appeared moved by the experience. Bullying is a popular topic right now, but the themes of Collins’s presentation are classic and transcend generations.

This was another additional benefit of CAP’s mentoring program. It was offered to all at no cost to CAP mentors, mentees, staff and the community-at-large. Approximately 50 attended. The youth were introspective and seemed to absorb the lessons offered and the realistic solutions offered by all at the conclusion of the presentation.

Collins solicited answers and solutions from the group and respectfully acknowledged all answers and comments. It was a worthwhile, enjoyable and memorable experience.

Thanks to Joanne Morak, manager of the Mentoring Program, for again offering a valuable event to all. As any parent knows, it only takes one caring person to make a difference in the life of a youth. That person could be you. If you have as little as an hour a week, please consider becoming a mentor to a local youth in need of support.

For more information, call Morak at 315.697.3588.

By martha

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