Members of the DeKalb Middle School Junior Beta Club are making plans for a trip to the National Convention at Disney World in Orlando, Florida after winning first place at the State Convention in November for their anti-bullying drama presentation called “Be the Change”.
The National Convention will be held June 24-28 but in order to make the trip, the club must raise more than $17,000. Several fundraisers have already been held and more are planned according to Lori Hendrix, DeKalb Middle School teacher and Junior Beta sponsor. “We need to raise approximately $17,000 and so far we have done a fashion show where we raised nearly $5,000. Next week at the parent teacher conference at Northside and Smithville Elementary we are going to be doing a soup supper where parents can stop and buy a quart of soup and the crackers for $5.00. They can take it home and heat it up. We are also doing a pancake breakfast which is this Saturday, March 11 at Applebees in McMinnville. We’re always taking donations. Lots of businesses have already turned in lots of donations. If you would like to make a donation you may send it attention to Lori Hendrix at DeKalb Middle School or donations may also be dropped off at First Bank to Brenda Cantrell. We are taking a charter bus down there which will cost us about $7,000. Hotel rooms are also about $10,000 for the group but that cost does not include any meals or anything else for the children. That’s just for their room, board, and transportation. We have lots of parents who are going but we have about ten children going who will not have their parents with them,” said Hendrix.
Josh Isaac, who wrote and choreographed the skit, said “Be the Change” sends a powerful message.
“I wanted to do something that was different but also something that put a message out there. What big of a message than bullying? That is something I think almost everyone can relate to at some time in their life. Social media bullying is something that is very much affecting all of our kids nowadays. We put this skit together. The kids came together. They really only had four to five practices which is an amazing feat in itself but we came together. I have never choreographed 48 kids together in my life. That was a little challenging but they worked hard and it paid off,” said Isaac.
“It’s called “Be the Change” and its basically about a group of kids bullying a girl. One of the kids steps out and says he doesn’t want to do that anymore and the choreography shows that. By one person changing it causes an affect on everyone. I feel like that is what we need in our schools and in our world because it just takes one to cause that affect for all,” he continued.
Isaac said the group is already preparing for the national competition. “We have already started working. We’re about to start going into high gear. We have new choreography. It’s a lot harder choreography with better props and other things we plan to do to make it appeal more on a national level. These kids are working so hard not only to raise the money for the trip but also in the choreography and getting themselves ready.The most exciting thing is about just sharing the message of this video “Be the Change”. Its going to be on a national level with a national stage. On the state level there were 8,000 people out there watching. This will be an even bigger place for us to show that everyone can make a difference”.
The community is urged to get behind the Junior Beta Club students and support them. “Our community has all come together to just be part of this, That’s a great thing about living in DeKalb County. Everyone rallies together. We truly have some of the best staff at DeKalb Middle School. Lori Hendrix and Tonya Sullivan work so hard. They don’t have to do this. They are doing this on their own. Its stressful but they are making a difference in these kids lives,” Isaac concluded.