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WWE awards $125,000 in Be a STAR anti-bullying grants

The Creative Coalition and WWE, co-founders of the Be a STAR (Show Tolerance and Respect) anti-bullying initiative, announced the winners of the first Be a STAR grant program. The program, which originally planned to offer four $25,000 grants, has instead awarded grants totaling $125,000 to five qualified non-profit public charities that develop and implement anti-bullying programs.

Be a STAR is an anti-bullying initiative co-founded in 2011 by The Creative Coalition and WWE. Its mission is to encourage young people to treat each other with tolerance and respect through education and grassroots initiatives. WWE and The Creative Coalition leverage the power of The Creative Coalition’s entertainment industry constituencies and WWE’s global brand and platforms to help combat the bullying epidemic plaguing today’s youth.

"The Creative Coalition is a proud co-founder and architect of Be a STAR. We are committed to harnessing the power of the arts and influence of the entertainment industry to serve the common good and the citizenry. And, the best way to do that is to put our strength behind the Be a STAR program that brings much-needed direct resources to the nation's schoolchildren," said Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition.

"WWE is proud to implement its first Be a STAR grant program, and offer five distinguished and deserving non-profits support for their anti-bullying programs," said Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer, WWE. "Due to the overwhelming response from many deserving organizations, we decided to award an additional grant for a total of $125,000. Our hope is that these five grants will provide the additional resources needed to help combat bullying in their communities."

The five grantees of the inaugural Be a STAR grant program are:

The Armory Foundation, New York, N.Y.: The Armory Foundation, a New York City non-profit, hosts more than 125,000 athletes each year and is home to the premier indoor track & field center in the United States. The Be a STAR grant will help fund the Armory College Prep’s Fair Play Program, which reaches more than 300 students in public high schools in New York City. The grant will also provide training for The Armory Foundation’s staff, who will ensure that Be a STAR’s lesson plans are integrated effectively into the program’s workshops.

Blue Star Families, Inc., Falls Church, Va.: Blue Star serves more than 10,000 military families in 70 locations around the world by supporting, connecting and empowering families through chapter-based programs. The Be a STAR grant will help fund MilKidz Clubs, which connects military kids – regardless of rank, branch of service or military installation – and provides them the resources, mentoring and opportunity to become the next wave of leaders in their communities. Approximately 1.5 million military children are enrolled in United States schools with the average military family moving about every two years. As a result, approximately 750,000 children of military families are the "new kid" each year in their school. In order to help these children, MilKidz will integrate Be a STAR resources into its after-school activities and incorporate Be a STAR’s nine lesson plans, including Courage, Responsibility, Dignity, Friendship, Advocacy, Resiliency, Empathy, Identity and Morality into its monthly meetings.

DoSomething.org, New York, N.Y.: DoSomething.org is one of the largest not-for-profit organizations in the United States for young people and social change. DoSomething.org gives young people ways they can take action around a variety of causes including bullying, animal cruelty, homelessness and cancer. The Be a STAR grant will be used to help fund DoSomething.org's "Bully Text" mobile platform. "Bully Text" is a digital experience where young people encounter different bullying scenarios via SMS text messaging and learn how to respond in various ways. According to DoSomething.org’s 2012 "The Bully Report," cyber bullying is the most pervasive type of bullying with 70 percent of students reporting frequent bullying online and 35 percent reporting bullying through texting.

East LA Boys & Girls Club (BGCELA), Los Angeles, Calif.: The mission of BGCELA is to enable all young people and their families to realize their full potential as productive, healthy, caring and responsible individuals through life-enhancing programs. The Be a STAR grant will support and fund parent workshops and training taught by local anti-bullying experts during National Bullying Prevention Month. Videos from the Be a STAR resource guide will be shown and discussed using the Be a STAR Student Activity Sheets and students will be taught Be a STAR’s nine lesson plans.

National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment (NVEEE), Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: NVEEE is a community-based non-profit whose mission is to prevent bullying, violence and suicide among youth, families and communities through direct service, mentoring and prevention education. The Be a STAR grant will fund the Peace Ambassadors program, which serves approximately 7,000 students in Ft. Lauderdale who will participate in tailored workshops that have integrated Be a STAR resources and training. The Peace Ambassador program is a leadership program comprised of students who serve as advocates and leaders to prevent bullying, suicide and violence in their schools and communities. Additionally, through the support of the Be a STAR grant, NVEE will provide parents and students with information and resources from Be a STAR alliance members.

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