Schools and youth-serving organizations throughout Orange County have declared Jan. 31 - Feb. 4 as Orange County No Name-Calling Week. The prevalence and severity of bullying and harassment among youth has gained national attention in recent months. Educators, parents, mentors, and service providers will conduct activities aimed at stemming the tide of name-calling and promoting respect for all in Orange County communities. No Name-Calling Week provides an opportunity to promote respect, build self-control, confidence, and resilience to bullying, both in and out of school settings. Orange County No Name-Calling Week is being sponsored by the Cultural Equity Taskforce in Orange County in partnership with Joint Membership of Health and Community Agencies, Orange County Youth Bureau, Orange County Department of Mental Health, Orange County Department of Social Services, Orange County Probation Department, Orange County System of Care and Orange-Ulster BOCES. The first of its kind, this county-wide effort to address bullying and harassment emanated from a “Safe Schools Roundtable” convened by GLSEN Hudson Valley and the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center in Kingston. For more than a year, community and school district leaders have come together to develop projects that address the issues of bullying and safety in our communities. Schools and youth-serving organizations will participate in the events in a variety of ways from hanging posters encouraging respect, to encouraging youth to intervene when they hear name calling, to hosting movie nights that highlight the value of diversity, to participating in the Day of Silence (www.dayofsilence.org). An activities menu developed for participating agencies can be found at www.glsen.org/hudsonvalley The program is modeled after GLSEN’s annual No Name-Calling Week which is a week of educational activities aimed at ending name calling of all kinds, and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities year round. Learn more about the project at www.nonamecallingweek.org.