Siobhan Magnus, Part II: Why Educating Students On Bullying Matters

Siobhan Magnus has sung on one of the biggest singing competition shows in the world, has sung with music legends, but what she values more than those incredible experiences is her work with her charity, The Siobhan Magnus Challenge Day Fund which is run through the Cape and Islands United Way.  The purpose of the fund is to help schools on Cape Cod in Massachusetts bring the Challenge Day anti-bullying program to their campus so that students can learn the effects of bullying on their classmates, and also learn ways to stop current bullying and prevent future bullying in their school.

For more information on Siobhan’s charity, please visit:  http://www.risingtidebusiness.com/siobhan-magnus-challenge-day-fund/

For more information on the Challenge Day organization and its program, please visit: http://www.challengeday.org/

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(Photo by Jennifer Dodge)

 

Me: What projects are you working on right now?

Magnus: We’re trying to keep on going with something we started last year, a charity we started. There’s a song on Moonbaby [Magnus’ album] called “Pure Inspiration,” and that’s kind of my venting about the bullying that I experienced growing up in middle school and high school, and I always wanted to do something that would be helping the cause of anti-bullying. I feel very strongly about that. Last February we were able to release a 45 on vinyl of “Pure Inspiration” and on the other side is my cover of “Old Cape Cod” by Patti Page, and with the release we established a Siobhan Magnus Challenge Day Fund with the Cape and Islands United Way. It’s to raise money to help all of the public schools on Cape Cod and the Islands to pay for what I believe to be the most effective anti-bullying program that is currently running, which is called “Challenge Day.” It’s hard to explain in a nutshell, but it’s a program that lasts for one entire school day, and two team leaders who come from the program who are trained to do this come and work with about 200 kids for the whole day. In that day they really make you come out of your comfort zone. You learn so much not just about bullying in general, but all of the people that you share the experience with. It’s really a profound thing. [For more information on Challenge Day, please visit: http://www.challengeday.org/]  The website has testimonials, videos, etc. The program has been featured in several documentaries now, and so the links to all of those are on the website, including the Danish program that was made about kids doing the program. I could talk about Challenge Day forever.

 

Me: The program sounds really interesting. What age group is Challenge Day intended for?

 

Magnus: I attended it in high school, but I’m pretty sure they go as young as 3rd and 4th grade.

 

Me: I certainly understand the reason for needing a program like that since I work in the school system, and I applaud anyone who tries to bring awareness to that issue, so I thank you for doing that work.

 

Magnus: Especially now, in these times, it’s more important than ever to address. I have two little sisters who are still in middle school, and it drives me crazy to think the style of bullying that they’re facing is so much different than even what I had in middle school. When I was their age, that was it. All communication between me and my classmates was severed. I was home, I was safe. Now it’s almost worse when you’re at home because of the internet and the way that it’s abused.

     I feel very strongly about doing everything that can be done, about teaching everyone, not just the kids but also teaching their parents, how to properly protect their kids while they’re using the computer in their home, and setting rules. With this foundation that we started, once it has enough money, we’ll use it as a scholarship for schools around the Cape that want to host the program. They’ll be able to apply for the money they’ll need to pay for the program. We’ll divvy out the money like that. We’re putting the single of “Old Cape Cod” up on iTunes and ½ of the proceeds from that will go to the fund, as well as if you buy a copy of the 45 single. We’re in the process of designing T-shirts to sell for the fund, too.

 

Me: That’ really exciting, and I’m happy you’re involved in that. I was right, you really are cool (laughing).

 

Magnus: Oh no! (laughing) I’m not cool at all. I’m the biggest dork in the world.

 

Me: But that what makes someone cool. I am a major dork, so I appreciate dorks.  Dorky is cool (laughing).

 

Magnus: Well, thank you! 

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~ by Jennifer Dodge on March 4, 2014.

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