Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ANF, -4.27% announced today its 2014 anti-bullying initiatives in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month, which begins October 1. The company has teamed up with Lucy Hale, singer and star of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, to help increase anti-bullying awareness.
Under the guidance of renowned anti-bullying expert Dr. Joel Haber, Abercrombie & Fitch will launch the Are You An Ally? program, a continuation of the efforts the company launched during National Bullying Prevention Month in 2013. Starting today, an educational video and peer-to-peer curriculum will be distributed to more than 10,000 middle and high schools throughout the United States and will also be viewable on YouTube (http://www.YouTube.com/Abercrombie). The video and curriculum will provide a safe and supportive way for students to share their experiences through peer-to-peer discussions and find ways to take a stand against bullying. The program is designed to empower students to recognize, address, and reflect on occurrences of bullying and cyberbullying among their peers, both inside and outside the school setting.
“I’m excited to partner with A&F and support such an important cause,” said Lucy Hale. “A child is bullied every seven minutes in school and this can have a detrimental effect on teens as they grow up, so I want to be a leader and an ally, and inspire students around the world to do the same.”
In partnership with No Bully, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that brings innovative, sustainable solutions to bullying, harassment and violence in schools (http://www.nobully.org), Abercrombie & Fitch is introducing a line of graphic tees to raise anti-bullying awareness. The tees will be sold in all Abercrombie & Fitch and abercrombie kids locations in the US, and online at Abercrombie.com and abercrombiekids.com. In addition, the company will launch a ‘Round Up’ program in US stores, allowing customers to round their purchase price up to the nearest dollar to benefit bully-prevention efforts. The first $150,000 of proceeds from the tees and the Round-Up program will be donated to No Bully. All other proceeds will be donated to other charitable organizations that support bullying prevention.
The company will also continue its college scholarship program, honoring outstanding students around the world who have persevered academically while experiencing bullying, as well as those who have led the fight against bullying in their schools and communities. With the help of its longstanding partner, the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) Foundation, A&F will grant ten renewable college scholarships to students starting college in fall 2015. The amount of the scholarships will be increased to $2,500 for 2015, with prior year scholarship recipients also being eligible for the higher awards in 2015. Interested applicants can find out more information at nshssfoundation.org.
“We are proud to champion this cause for the second year in a row, and look forward to seeing the Are you An Ally? program make a difference in schools and communities,” said Mike Jeffries, Chief Executive Officer of Abercrombie & Fitch. “It is estimated that 160,000 students miss school every day due to fear of bullying, so we hope this program can help to bring awareness and to address this significant problem.”
Abercrombie & Fitch and its partners encourage students to increase awareness for bullying prevention. Follow @abercrombie on Twitter and Instagram to stay updated on the campaign.