October was Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. St. Thomas a’Becket Youth Ministers Stephanie Tierney and Keri Connelly were already passionate about empowering kids and combating bullying. But they wondered how they could get their Middle and High School Youth Groups inspired to stand up to bullies. The answer? Engage them with YouTube.
Members of our Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School Youth Groups were split into teams. Each team looked at statistics on bullying and thought about its devastating impact. Then they designed and recorded 60 to 90 second videos to bring home their message. Bullying is never okay. It has many faces. And there is something every person can do about it.
The youth ministers provided the raw video to Webmaster Kirste Moline, who processed the files, added titles and a closing image, and uploaded the videos to YouTube. Links to the videos were posted on the church’s Facebook page and linked on the front page of the website. Parishioners were encouraged to share the link with others.
Most importantly, the kids felt empowered to do something that our Catholic faith calls us to do: to stand up for the weak, the oppressed, those cast away by others. And they inspired the adults around them to do the same. Take a minute to watch the YouTube videos. They cost nothing to produce or to share. They engaged teens and preteens and their parents. And they empowered teens to stand up, even if they were standing alone. Think of what could happen if we all did this.
“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” – Matthew 5:11-12
Guest blog post by Kirste Moline, webmaster at St. Thomas a’Becket Catholic Church in Canton, MI.