RESPECT Reaches its 500,000th Participant!
On September 25, 2017 RESPECT celebrated reaching its 500,000th participant! The landmark was reached at Millard North Middle School during a performance for 6th graders of “Between the Lines” which addresses verbal, physical, social and cyber bullying. It is one of the 10 educational theatre programs offered by RESPECT to promote healthy relationships and prevent abuse.
RESPECT’s catalog of offerings constantly evolves in response to the world in which we live. The dynamics of relationships are the same as when RESPECT started 17 years ago, but the way in which we communicate has drastically changed with technology, the political environment has affected the tone of discussion and social media makes what often used to be private experiences public. The performance of “Between the Lines” for an audience that puts us over the half-million mark is representative of both the present challenges that the students in the audience face and the work that has been done with the participants that came before them.
500,000 is a big number and a number that we are proud of. But the most important number to us is the number ONE. When we perform our programs, we know we are giving resources to that ONE youngster in the audience who is being bullied or abused and doesn’t know what to do. We are directing that ONE teenager having a mental health crisis to see their counselor before it is too late. We are helping that ONE young woman recognize the unhealthy dynamics of her dating relationship so she can get help to leave it safely. We want you to know that your gift to RESPECT may well be the ONE that helps fund the program that reaches that ONE student. For those ONE students who are in critical need of the information, skills and resources that we teach, that is the only number that matters!
Much time during RESPECT’s early years was spent by Executive Director, Patricia Newman, educating the community about the prevalence of bullying and the effects it has on youth before it was such a “hot topic.” Now, thanks to the efforts of RESPECT and community partners, the importance of teaching about bullying and relationships is clear. We are thrilled to have been able to partner with so many schools and organizations to make this impact on the 500,000 participants whom we have reached directly and the many others who benefit from those participants’ healthy relationships.