CHALLENGE DAY

Anti-bullying program

Challenge Day for North Carolina, part of an award-winning, international anti-bullying program, joined the CRC in order to establish this program in the Triangle. Led by Jean Ritok of Chapel Hill, CRC reports to Grace Marsh. CD maintains its own mission, steering committee, financial resources and activities, and follows any related CRC standards.

Because Jean, a former teacher and IT project manager, was instrumental in its success in the Detroit area in 1999-2014, she decided to establish a chapter in North Carolina in 2015. Through her social network, she formed a Steering Committee, raised funds and held the first two CD events at East Chapel Hill High School and Chatham Middle School in October 2016.

The long-term goal is to present the program in 58 public high and middle schools in Durham, Orange, Chatham and western Wake counties. It’s believed that the program’s only other showings in North Carolina were at Greensboro and Charlotte.

Studies show that one out of four teens experiences bullying, violence and other forms of oppression every day. The Challenge Day program not only reduces teasing and bullying, but also teaches tools for peaceful conflict resolution, and inspires teens and adults to work together as forces for positive change in their schools and the world.

Challenge Day (www.challengeday.org) was founded in 1987 by Yvonne and Rich Dutra-St. John, who were motivated by memories of their own experiences of being teased and bullied in school. He is a former teacher, licensed family therapist and youth drug intervention counselor. She has helped to design and implement over 17 different nationally recognized prevention and intervention programs for teenagers.

From its headquarters in Concord, CA, last year the program saw 705 Challenge Days in 390 schools in the US, Sweden, Canada, The Netherlands and Belgium. Since its inception, Challenge Day has reached more than 1.5 million teens across the world and received numerous awards for this life changing work.

The other members of the local CD steering committee are: Dick Chady, an experienced journalist and public relations professional; Tych Cowdin, a student support specialist at Chatham Middle School in Siler City; Alice Gold, a former secondary school teacher; Charlotte Leidy, a retired Navy officer now volunteering; and Diane Price, a longtime IT manager.

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