Anti-bullying group prepares for new year

Published 10:16 am Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Community Against Bullying has some big dreams for 2012.

Though CAB members haven’t decided on specific projects to pursue, the idea list that came out of Tuesday night’s meeting is full of ambitious goals.

CAB members are looking to continue combating bullying through a variety of programs, all targeted towards helping Austin’s youth.

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“The need is really for things for the youth,” said Danielle Borgerson-Nesvold, head of CAB.

Some of the ideas include a possible scholarship program and awards recognition at the end of the school year for Austin Public School students. CAB is looking into more promotional materials such as posters, T-shirts, wristbands and more to promote its anti-bullying message and build on the lessons motivational speaker The Scary Guy brought to Austin in the fall.

One of the most ambitious ideas is a 24-hour recreation center where Austin youth can go to get a meal and have organized activities.

“We need a recreation center in town,” Neveln Principal Dewey Schara said to CAB members at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Residents have long advocated for a youth or teen center, or at least an expanded Youth Activity Center, which is run by the city of Austin. In fact, a Youth Center makes up two of the 91 ideas residents had for the Vision 2020 process. Though Vision 2020 organizers won’t know until March whether building a rec center in town will be a Vision 2020-sponsored project, CAB members will look at preliminary research including reaching out to the Boys and Girls Club of America for more details.

Other ideas including bringing back the Take It to the Streets fundraising event, which CAB organizers held last August and raised $6,800, even though the Austin Fire Department held a similar event earlier that week. Some CAB members would also like to see yearly motivational speakers, a 5K Walk/Run fundraiser, an Airband contest fundraiser, and even a Balloon Wars fundraiser.

The largest goal, according to Borgerson-Nesvold, is to continue to educate Austin citizens on the ill effects of bullying and hopefully prevent it from taking place regardless of age.

CAB members will vote on the ideas once Borgerson-Nesvold e-mails them out. Borgerson-Nesvold said she hopes to have a set list of goals by the end of the month.