Danger Run Brings Don’t Be Monster Anti-Bullying Program to Jefferson County Schools This Fall!

Don't Be A Monster

Nationally recognized, nonprofit anti-bullying program, Don’t Be A Monster, is joining forces with Louisville’s Danger Run to bring its’ empowering assemblies to Jefferson County Schools during National Bullying Prevention Month!

Don't Be A Monster

Don’t Be a Monster is the largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on bullying prevention that works hand-in-hand with the haunted attraction industry in the United States. Danger Run is Louisville’s unique Halloween puzzle solving road game that involves participants deciphering clues that will ultimately lead them to two different haunted houses. This fall, these two companies will join forces to bring a Halloween flavored presentation to Jefferson County Schools that encourages leadership, diversity and inclusiveness.

Recently, I sat down with Don’t Be A Monster’s Erica McElroy to discuss the history and goals of the organization. “Don’t Be A Monster started in San Antonio, TX in 2013,” says McElroy, “and I’ve been with the company for four years. I started with them while working for the 13th Floor Haunted House in Denver, CO and I currently represent the House of Torment in Austin, TX.”

“Growing up, my neighbor did a home haunt and my twin sister and I were always obsessed with it,” testifies McElroy. “He let us come over and showed us how things worked behind-the-scenes. When I reached 6th Grade, I started working with our seasonal school haunted house and I did that all the way through high school. I’ve basically been working in haunted houses my whole life.”

The month of October is National Bullying Prevention Month which made a natural fit for Don’t Be A Monster to bring the Halloween industry into the fold. The school assembly program focuses on the 4th to 10th Grade age levels and includes a towering mascot figure named Frank who deals with his own problem with bullying because he looks different than the kids at his school. So far, the program has visited 679 schools, given over a thousand presentations and reached more than 320,000 students.

Don't Be A Monster

“It’s heartbreaking to hear kids that young are already thinking about suicide,” relates McElroy, “but it’s rewarding when they come up to us after our presentations to thank us for bringing the topic to their attention. They often write to us afterwards as well. We provide them with a list of resources that they can go to when they confront bullying themselves.”

“The program encourages leadership and stepping in if you see someone being bullied. We don’t even really call them bullies because that defines them and our hope is ultimately to change them.”

Danger Run is embarking on its 24th season as a Louisville Halloween tradition with deep ties to the local community. Co-owner, Dr. Michael Book, says the haunted attraction company has contributed to several nonprofit charitable organizations in the past but he and his partners are passionate about participating in this joint venture with Don’t Be A Monster. “I experienced the pain of being bullied throughout grade school and high school, and back then things like cyber-bullying didn’t even exist! Bullying has gotten even worse for kids today. In fact, in 2016 30% of Kentucky students reported being either bullied or cyber-bullied, and the numbers continue to grow. We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work with Don’t Be A Monster and have such a positive impact on so many lives in our community.”

For more information about Don’t Be A Monster, go to their website at http://dontbeamonster.org/. To get involved or book an assembly, contact them at info@DontBeAMonster.org . Get more information about Danger Run at http://www.dangerrun.com/ . The Danger Run official Halloween season starts Friday, Sept. 21 and runs every Friday and Saturday night through the first weekend of November.

The Phantom of The Ville

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