IRMO, SC - Students at Oak Pointe Elementary School had a ball Tuesday morning as Harlem Globetrotter basketball player Zeus McClurkin paid a special visit to the Pioneers. A team member of the Globetrotters, who are known worldwide as the “Ambassadors of Goodwill”, McClurkin shared his life story with the crowd and most importantly the organization’s community outreach program called “The ABC’s of Bullying Prevention.”
In between their busy schedules of performing on the court across the world, Globetrotter players like Zeus take time to visit schools and share their ABC’s of Bullying Prevention which stands for: Action, Bravery and Compassion. The program targets 6-12 year-olds and offers tools children can use on a daily basis to reduce bullying. The Globetrotters equate what it means to be a part of a team to how kids can offer support to one another to help stop bullying. Zeus shared with the students how he was bullied growing up and why it is not something a child should have to experience.
“It is never a good idea to get into a fight with a bully because then you both get in trouble,” Zeus told the students. “A lot of times a bully just wants to take away happiness from someone else because they are not happy inside. You might not know what is going on inside someone else. That is why to combat bullying, you should show action, bravery and compassion to one another.”
To incorporate the important message of bullying and violence prevention, Zeus had participation from select students and teachers from the crowd that included the team’s signature ball-handling skills with humor. The Globetrotters designed the ABC’s program in coordination with the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV), a non-profit organization that firmly believes young people who think about their actions in non-confrontational ways can create a culture where aggressive behavior is frowned upon and violence is thereby reduced.
Oak Pointe Elementary School principal Cassy Paschal was so excited for a popular figure like Zeus to share the ABC’s program saying, “It is so imperative for our students to hear the anti-bully message from someone they admire. They learned a valuable life lesson in a fun and engaging way. For them to see someone famous who has experienced struggles of their own and then gone on to excel academically and athletically, it is such a wonderful experience for our kids.”