Schools nationwide to be recognized for promoting solutions to the problems of bullying during the 5th annual national Bullying Awareness Week, November 19 to 25, 2007

    TORONTO, Nov. 12 /CNW/ - Earlier this fall, Astral Media's Family Channel
put out a call for nominations to its viewers seeking schools that teach and
reinforce effective strategies to help kids stand up to bullying. The network
received over 16,000 nominations from kids, out of which four schools have
been selected to host "stand UP!" rallies during the fifth annual national
Bullying Awareness Week, November 19 to 25, 2007.
    School selections were made in consultation with PREVNet (Promoting
Relationships and Eliminating Violence), a national network of Canadian
researchers, community organizations and governments committed to bullying
prevention ( The rallies will take place at schools in North
Vancouver, B.C. (November 19); Calgary, AB (November 20); Rothesay, N.B.
(November 22); and Richmond Hill, ON (November 23).
    As an element of surprise intended to build anticipation, the schools
chosen will not be publicly announced until the morning of each rally.
Students will only discover that their school has been selected when celebrity
hosts make a surprise announcement over the school's PA system. Christopher
Massey ("Michael") and Matthew Underwood ("Logan"), who star in the series
Zoey 101, will host the North Vancouver and Calgary rallies, and Michael
Seater ("Derek") and Ashley Leggat ("Casey"), stars of Life With Derek, will
perform hosting duties in Rothesay and Richmond Hill.
    Organized around the rallying cry "stand UP!" - a message that promotes
the part that bystanders can play to help stop bullying - the rallies will
deliver an exciting and unforgettable "behind the scenes" entertainment
experience. The Zoey 101 and Life With Derek stars will share their own
personal experiences with bullying and participate with students in a series
of fun activities, including a "stand UP!" video shout out and a photo shoot.
Students will also be treated to a sneak peak of a bullying-themed episode of
Life With Derek called "The Bully Brothers" and a PREVNet representative will
be in attendance to lead a discussion on the issues presented in the episode.
"The Bully Brothers" makes its Canadian television premiere on the Friday of
Bullying Awareness Week, November 23 at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT.
    The "stand UP!" message is based on research findings that indicate one
of the biggest opportunities to reduce bullying is for bystanders to stand up
for peers who are bullied. Conducted by Drs. Debra Pepler and Wendy Craig,
Scientific Co-Directors of PREVNet, the research has shown that bullying stops
within 10 seconds 57 per cent of the time when a peer bystander intervenes on
behalf of individuals who are being bullied. This research has also
demonstrated that bystanders are present in 85 per cent of bullying episodes,
but only intervene 25 per cent of the time. Each November since the launch of
Bullying Awareness Week in 2003, Family Channel has spread the "stand UP!"
    "We know from our own tracking research that the 'stand UP!' message is
getting through to our audience, but we also understand from our partners at
PREVNet that this message needs to be consistently reinforced and modeled at
home, at school and within the larger community in order to effect real
change," says Joe Tedesco, Vice President and General Manager, Family Channel.
"It is our hope that the rallies, by recognizing and celebrating successes,
will help raise awareness for our collective responsibility to help kids deal
with bullying."

    Other activities spearheaded by Family Channel during Bullying Awareness
    Week include:

    "stand UP!" Programming
    Bullying-themed series and movies will air throughout the week along with
a new Public Service Announcement produced by Shaftesbury Films that features
kids holding signs at various locations in a school that tell a story
encouraging kids to stand up for peers who are bullied. Also featured this
year are celebrity shout outs from such stars as Daniel Radcliffe and the cast
of High School Musical.

    "stand UP!" Cuff
    A grey canvas bracelet stamped with the "stand UP!" message is available
from and in La Senza Girl stores across Canada, with a portion
of proceeds going to bullying prevention organizations.

    "stand UP!" Website
    A campaign website featuring rally announcements and photos, streaming
video of promo spots, an online cuff order form and the "stand UP!"
programming line-up is available at

    About Bullying Awareness Week

    National Bullying Awareness Week is a joint declaration of Family Channel
and Canada, an organization that operates a leading Internet
resource on bullying. Since its inception in November 2003, Bullying Awareness
Week has grown in support and is increasingly recognized by schools,
individuals, organizations and communities across Canada as a time to
celebrate and promote solutions to the problems of bullying.

    About Astral Media's Family Channel

    Family Channel is a premium, commercial-free network offering the best in
family television entertainment in 5.5 million homes across Canada. Dedicated
to celebrating family life and providing a fun experience for all, Family airs
a unique mix of series, movies and specials, with a large portion of
programming supplied by Disney. Visit us at Family is an Astral
Media network. Astral Media is a leading Canadian media company, active in
specialty, pay and pay-per-view television, radio, outdoor advertising and the
Internet. Astral Media's solid and dynamic presence in the country's major
markets rests on its commitment to offer a unique combination of high-quality,
targeted media for all its audiences.

For further information:

For further information: For interview request, photos or additional
information please contact: Natalie Jones at (416) 956-2010 X 6283 or

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