PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 24, 2014 — Encouraging students to work together and take the initiative against bullying, state Sen. Anthony H. Williams today said he is sponsoring an anti-bullying mobile application design contest for students in his 8th Senatorial District’s Philadelphia, Southeast Delaware County and William Penn school districts.

The application entries should show how the technology would help students address or report bullying, Williams said.

Classmates of all finalists from each school district will be invited to see an open rehearsal performance by Rennie Harris Puremovement Dance Groups and their anti-bullying hip hop program this spring. The winning mobile app will be unveiled at this show and each member of the winning design team will receive an Apple iPad 2.

“Parents and adults can say all there is to say about the importance of not bullying others, but the best solutions to stopping this problem remain with our children,” Williams said. “We are encouraging students to work together to come up with great ideas that will not only help them and their classmates crush bullying behaviors, but help other students throughout Pennsylvania and the United States.”

Sen. Williams’ contest requires three to five students in grades 7 through 12 to work together in an independent group. Each group is required to write a summary of their mobile app concept that includes the name of their app, how it will look and perform and how it will help students address and report bullying.

Designs are due by Feb. 28.

Students will vote on the winning entry from their school. An independent panel of experts will then review the winning designs by the end of March. The winning concept will then be turned into a usable app by the students at the STEMNASIUM Learning Academy.

The finished product will be unveiled to all students during Anti-Bullying Month in October.

“I am excited to see what this competition produces and how it will help our kids learn and grow together,” the senator said. “As participants, they will simultaneously be developing positive social skills while learning how to make responsible decisions.”

Sen. Williams is presenting this year’s competition in collaboration with STEMNASIUM Learning Academy, Comcast and Dr. Joi C. Spraggins, a motivational speaker, trainer and CEO of Legacy, Pathways and Footprints LLC.

Williams has been dedicated to working to reduce or eliminate bullying in schools. This is the third year he has partnered with students in the Philadelphia and Delaware County school districts on this front. His annual “Summer of Peace” event also stresses the need for kids and teens to learn how to find more positive alternatives to violence and harassment of others.

A five-minute anti-bullying public service announcement by Penn Wood High School 9th graders is still being aired by MiNDTV and is available on the senator’s website.

“Memories of being bullied or being the bully stay with you. The emotional trauma is negative, unproductive and not worth it. Now is the time for teens to grow up, experience new things, and decide where they want to go in life. Bullying is not the answer for anyone,” he said.

For more information about Sen. Williams’ anti-bullying efforts, click here.