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A new bullying prevention program features grant opportunities for schools and community organizations and encourages them to “Know What’s Right, Do What’s Right”

Pittsburgh, PA —As the school year begins for students in the region and their focus turns once again to learning—a distraction lingers—one that becomes more difficult to address as they mature. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, more than 70% of students, and an equal number of school staff, have seen bullying occur in educational environments. The number increases significantly when including social media and other forms of electronic communication.

While considering this social challenge, The Marcus L. Ruscitto Charitable Foundation, which has previously engaged in bullying prevention initiatives, identified the need to reach young children in preschool, kindergarten and early elementary school with solutions that begin to prepare them to confront this troubling behavior. By helping them to “Know What’s Right, Do What’s Right” when it comes to direct and indirect interpersonal relationships, the Foundation hopes to have a positive impact on children in the Pittsburgh region.

As a result, the Foundation has consulted with subject matter experts and assembled a program incorporating media messaging that reaches children and parents, complemented by in-school service providers who bring proven methodologies that can be applied immediately.

Specifically, the Foundation will feature the following program components beginning in the 2014 – 2015 school year:

• On-air announcements promoting the “Know What’s Right, Do What’s Right” theme on WQED-TV; WQED is the public broadcasting service (PBS) station in Pittsburgh, PA delivering educational programming to the community

• Grant request opportunities for preschool programs demonstrating financial need to implement the I Can Problem Solve (I.C.P.S.) curriculum; I.C.P.S. is a universal school-based program that focuses on enhancing the problem-solving skills of children

• Grant request opportunities for schools and community center populations demonstrating financial need to hold assemblies featuring The Josh & Gab Show; The show entertains and informs audiences of all ages through a combination of music and comedy

The on-air announcements will begin airing on WQED-TV in early October 2014 and appear consistently during age appropriate programming through May 2015.

Approved grants for the following organizations will be funded to immediately assist with the delivery of bullying prevention content as the school year ramps up: H.W. Good Elementary, Mendon Elementary, West Newton Elementary (Yough School District), St. Gregory School (Zelienople), St. Bartholomew School (Penn Hills), St. Joseph School (Verona), Green Valley Primary (North Versailles), and Mt. Washington Children’s Center (Pittsburgh).

Grant opportunities will be available throughout the school year.

Interested organizations may submit their requests to the Foundation through the application now available at http://ruscitto.org.

Preference will be given to applications demonstrating a combination of financial and cultural need.

About The Marcus L. Ruscitto Charitable Foundation

The Marcus L. Ruscitto Charitable Foundation was established as a legacy to an energetic young leader and visionary who devoted his time to helping people grow and pursue their dreams. The friends and family of Marcus are proud to continue with his work – inspiring others to live life with passion and purpose. The Foundation invests in educational, charitable and research endeavors related to bullying prevention. For more information, please visit http://www.ruscitto.org.

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