Cheese Chisholm of the Harlem Globetrotters paid a visit to the Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Club in Beaumont on Monday, Jan. 21, to talk to the children about bullying.
“I’m from the Bronx, N.Y., and I never had a chance for anyone to come to my neighborhood and talk to me,” Chisholm said. “So anytime I have a chance to talk to kids, I try to do the best I can.”
The visit was part of a new nationwide community outreach program by the Globetrotters in an effort to impact schools and communities.
“We do this in every state,” he said. “This is my pride and joy. I love talking to kids. Being goodwill ambassadors are what Harlem Globetrotters pride ourselves behind.”
The outreach program is called “The ABCs of Bullying Prevention.” The A is for the Action that children should take when they see a classmate being bullied, the B is for the Bravery it takes to stand up to a bully, and the C is for the Compassion that children should share with other children who might be a victim of bullying.
Chisholm told the children that bullying didn’t have to necessarily be physical and could occur throughout different media such as Facebook and other social media. He also talked to the children about what it means to be part of a team and how they could offer support to one another to help stop bullying. The Globetrotters program, which targets 6- to 12-year-olds, doesn’t encourage children to get physically involved when they see another child being bullied, but instead encourages them to notify an adult or authority figure.
After the serious discussion was out of the way, Cheese, named for having the best smile on his team, showed the children his smile and a few of his famous tricks — including behind the back, between the legs and off the elbow passes. He also played a game with a few of the children who showed the initiative to answer his questions during the discussion. Chisholm would pass the ball to each child, sometimes unexpectedly, and if the boy or girl dropped the pass, they would be eliminated from the game, with the last child remaining named the winner. The other children were not left out, however, as they cheered on the participants.
“The fact that I can create memories and that a few of these kids will never forget this for the rest of their lives is what I enjoy most about doing this,” Chisholm said. “My goal is to reach at least one kid, and if I can do that, I think I’ve done my job.”
“The ABCs of Bullying Prevention” was designed by the Globetrotters in coordination with the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV). According to the Globetrotter’s website, “NSCV is a nonprofit organization that works with middle school students, firmly believes that young people, who think about their actions in the non-confrontational ways that this program extols, can create a culture where aggressive behavior is frowned upon and violence is thereby reduced. Students frequently cite bullying as a cause of violence that they experience, and the rate at which kids are reporting this cause is increasing. We hope that by reaching these kids early in their lives, they might be taught valuable lessons in character and empathy from the positive role models of the Harlem Globetrotters.”
Chisholm will be playing with the Globetrotters on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. at Ford Park Arena in Beaumont as part of the team’s “You Write the Rules” World Tour.
For tickets or more information about the Globetrotters, visit www.harlemglobetrotters.com.