OCTOBER: Bullying prevention, breast cancer, arts & humanities and clergy

OCTOBER 2014—The warmth of Indian summer begins to wane in October, bringing the smell of autumn and the vibrancy of fall colors. This month, wear pink with pride in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and be sure to thank leaders in your congregation: It’s National Clergy Appreciation Month. Stop bullying in its tracks, because October is National Bullying Prevention Month. October is also LGBT History Month. Visit an art museum or attend a live performance in honor of October being National Arts & Humanities Month, and learn more about Polish and Filipino Americans, because both are honored this month. As the nights get chillier, rent a movie and spend a night at home with a buttery, poppin’ favorite: it’s Popcorn Month (and, for those of you with a sweet tooth, it’s Cookie Month, too).

Check out this month’s highlights:


Founded in 2006 by PACER‘s National Bullying Prevention Center, October is the month when communities nationwide focus efforts to educate and raise awareness about this challenge for so many school-age children and their families. PACER reaches out to communities through partnerships with education-based organizations such as National PTA, American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association to provide schools, parents and students with resources to respond to bullying behavior and to begin the shift of societal acceptance of bullying.

PACER has declared that this year’s theme for National Bullying Prevention Month is: The End of Bullying Begins with Me!


Here’s how to “team up” and multiply your own effort to end bullying—Our ReadTheSpirit publishing house will donate $1 to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center for each copy of the new comic book, Bullying Is No Laughing Matter that is sold during the month of October.

Bullying Is No Laughing Matter is a full-color paperback comic book that is a historic “team up” of many cartoon favorites. Three dozen nationally distributed comic strips are united in Bullying Is No Laughing Matter, many of them specifically addressing the issue of bullying for the very first time in this publication. The fact that dozens of top comic artists have collaborated in this unique collection is news! The format of this comic book is news as well. It’s a “flip book” with two covers and two pathways through these comic adventures. Author Kurt J. Kolka is an award-winning journalist. He also is the creator of the comic super hero The Cardinal, a costumed crime-fighter who cares about the lives in his small town as much as Kurt and his wife Diane care about their community. Together, Kurt and Diane lead anti-bullying programs for adults and kids.

Bullying has become a national epidemic! This new book is part of the cure.

Buy a copy of the book today—and, for each book sold, the publishing house will drop $1 into the pot to help PACER’s efforts. PlusCheck out our new website that offers, each week, a free activity/discussion guide for adults to use with kids.


With more than 1 million full-time Christian ministry workers and 350,000 senior pastors currently in the United States, it’s time to thank the folks that inspire your congregation: October is Clergy Appreciation Month. Inaugurated by nonprofit group Under His Wing in 1992, Clergy Appreciation Month encourages congregation members to express gratitude to their pastors and clergy leaders and to find ways to help, whether by offering volunteer yard work or bringing lunch. A rising demand brought Hallmark to begin printing National Clergy Day cards in 2001, and the cause currently has a Facebook page, too.


From the White House in Washington, D.C. to skyscrapers in Tokyo, world buildings are illuminated in pink this month, in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). Founded in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of a chemical industry organization, NBCAM promotes mammography, breast cancer prevention and awareness of the signs of breast cancer. Today, the pink ribbon—gaining popularity since the Susan G. Komen Foundation began handing out pink ribbons at its race in 1991—has gained international status, and “pink” merchandise can be found in countless stores. October brings fundraising walks, runs and more; since 1983, participant count in Race for the Cure has skyrocketed from 800 to well over 1 million. NationalBreastCancer.org encourages an Early Detection Plan; offers educational and supportive resources for women with breast cancer; and raises funds for women who can’t afford a mammogram.


This month, Americans are urged to explore new facets of the arts and humanities—so get out there and try a new museum, live show or gallery viewing! The year was 1993 when National Arts & Humanities Month was established, with four goals in mind: to create a national, state and local focus on the arts and humanities through media; to encourage the participation of individuals, arts and humanities and other organizations worldwide; to provide an opportunity for federal, state and local businesses, government and civic leaders to declare their support for the arts and humanities; and to establish a highly visible vehicle for raising awareness about the arts and humanities. Looking for ideas to celebrate? Host or attend a National Arts & Humanities Event in your community, with more information here. Hosting resources are available here, and access the National ArtsMeet Calendar here. Raise awareness by sending a proclamation to your local elected officials (a sample proclamation link is on this page), or participate in the National Arts & Humanities Show Your Art Instagram campaign.

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