October is National Bullying Prevention Month and to help educate kids the Minnesota Vikings stopped by a school in St. Cloud. Students at Athlos Academy were excited to meet Viktor the Viking and hear what he had to say about bullying prevention. If you were to walk into the gymnasium at Athlos Academy Wednesday afternoon you would have heard screams of excitement, laughter and applause. At first, it may seem these students are just having fun but they were also learning an important lesson about bullying.
“I think you can’t talk about bullying enough its everywhere and can be happening while going unnoticed,” said Athlos Social Worker Carrie Cramers, “so the more we can educate our students and the more we can talk to them we can help them understand what bullying is and why it is not okay.”
During the program Vikings players, like Adam Thielen and Danielle Hunter, Vikings Cheerleaders, and the voice of the Vikings, Paul Allen, all called in to teach students what to do if they see bullying. The main theme of Viktor’s Quest to Stop Bullying was the Acronym S.T.O.P.
Stand up, Take Action, Open Up, Protect Yourself.
These are the steps they were telling students to take when they see bullying happening.
Students also got the chance to come up to the front of the room with Viktor to participate in activities that explain the impacts of bullying in a new way. Afterward, students walk away with a new understanding of bullying. Fifth grader Romere Williams says after the presentation, “Bullying is never good and under no circumstances no one ever should do it.”
The host of the program was Vikings cheerleader Emma Hess. She said hosting programs like Viktor’s Quest is one of her favorite things about being a Vikings cheerleader.
“I love seeing the energy that the kids bring to these events, they are learning and having fun doing it.” said Hess, Its programs like these that really get through to the kids “There are players in the program who call in and I think hearing that from such big role models like players and cheerleaders and having victor at the show, just has another level of impact on the kids.”
Viktor’s Quest to Stop Bullying is a program that travels throughout the Midwest during the month of October. This was Emma’s forth program this month and she says she has more coming next week.