Founded in 1928 as a “fresh air” camp to combat the spread of tuberculosis, Jameson Camp has been a mainstay in the realm of children’s health ever since. Next week Social Health will present its HIV/AIDS and Step Up for Kindness!™ bullying prevention program at the camp, located just west of Indianapolis.
“What makes this visit special is that each of the young people attending, ranging in age from 7 to 18 years, have been impacted by HIV/AIDS in one way or another,” said Andrea Kamwendo, SHA educator who will present the program. “Many have the virus and others live with family members, usually parents or siblings, who have HIV.”
HIV/AIDS and Bullying Go Hand in Hand
“We have learned so much about HIV/AIDS since Ryan White’s death 25 years ago, and yet the virus is still misunderstood, and people with HIV/AIDS are still being bullied,” said Andrea.
According to the Center for Disease Control, youth aged 13 – 24 account for 26 percent of all new HIV infections in the U.S. However, more than 50 percent of youth living with HIV do not know they have contracted the virus.
On Monday, July 20, SHA educators will present the HIV/AIDS program similar to the one developed for the students in Scott County, Ind. after the region’s HIV outbreak earlier this year. SHA staff also spoke to the topic of AIDS and bullying with another advocate and Indiana native, Paige Rawl, on WHMB’s Living By Design segment this spring.
Responding with Kindness
On Friday, July 24, Social Health Educators will shift gears by encouraging camp-goers to Step Up for Kindness! ™, SHA’s comprehensive bullying prevention program that also teaches how to respond to being a target of bullying.
“Many of these kids know first-hand what it’s like to be bullied,” said Stephanie Laskey, Director of Programs & Evaluation, SHA. “This class will help them know what to do and empower them to take appropriate action.”
Step Up for Kindness! ™ teaches the hallmarks of bullying and helps kids:
- Identify four types of bullying: physical, verbal, social, and cyber bullying and how to prevent and respond to each type.
- Know how to diffuse potentially difficult situations
- Empathize with others
- Discuss the roles of stereotypes and prejudice in bullying
“We’re so glad to have the opportunity to present our programs to the kids at Jameson Camp,” said SHA CEO Tonja Eagan. “It’s at the core of our mission to help all kids lead happy, healthy and safe lives.”