Gabe Sinicropi, vice-president of the Crosscutters marketing and public relations, announced the introduction of the Crosscutters anti-bullying program called "Bully Busters Unite" at a special news conference at Stevens Elementary School.
Sinicropi, made the announcement with fellow Crosscutters staff members Doug Estes, vice-president and general manager; Sarah Budd, director of ticket operations and community relations, and Boomer, Crosscutters mascot, to the press and members of Mrs. Fischer's kindergarten classroom.
Sinicropi reported on the success of the Crosscutters' "Grand Slam Reading Program" which celebrated its 19th anniversary this year. The award-winning program has helped to promote and encourage reading among school age students. Sinicropi reported that the program reaches over 100,000 students a year.
Boomer, mascot for the Crosscutters, entertained students and led them in reciting the “Bully Busters Pledge.”
"We're very proud of our Grand Slam Reading Program but we wanted to do more. We wanted something to bring another positive message to local schools," Sinicropi said. "Bullying was one of the top things on our list of things to address."
The program teaches students to recognize bullying behavior and also explores what they should do should they experience bullying or witness other students being bullied. The program hopes to inspire young students to stop bullying before it starts by using the popularity and antics of the mascot Boomer.
Assemblies will be held at local schools throughout the month of May with appearances by Crosscutters staff members and Boomer to promote anti-bullying behavior by students.
"Schools with an anti-bullying program in place have a 50-percent lower bullying rate," Sinicropi said.
The program also uses incentives to promote anti-bullying. At the conclusion of assembly students will receive a coloring booklet which also contains the "Bully Buster Pledge." Students are encouraged to take the pledge home, sign it and bring it to the Crosscutters game on June 18th for two free admissions.
During the news conference Boomer entertained the students and helped the students recited the "Bully Busters Pledge." Sinicropi explained how Boomer was "bullied" when he was in school. Boomer will tell his story of being bullied and how he dealt with it to students during the assembles next month.
The Bully Busters Unite program, which was developed with assistance from Bruce Productions in Wilmington, Del., begins initially in Williamsport area schools but in the coming 2014-15 school year is looking to expand to other schools in the Susquehanna Valley and is being sponsored by Susquehanna Health.
The first Bully Busters Unite assembly will take place on May 8 at Schick Elementary.
'We encourage school districts throughout the Susquehanna Valley to contact us about bringing Bully Busters to their school district," Sinicropi said.
School administrators interested in bring the assemble to their school should contact the Crosscutters Community Relations department.