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The Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition on Monday announced a grant program to help Utah middle schools and high schools fight bullying.
The coalition, a group of educators and members of Utah's business community, will provide at least 34 schools from nine school districts with training and funds to launch anti-bullying campaigns, create anonymous tip lines and hold motivational assemblies.
Each school will receive between $1,000 and $2,000, Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition Executive Director Don Olsen said.
"We really don't know exactly what the total is," he said. "We're still working with schools and determining what they need."
Schools were chosen based on their use of student-led anti-bullying initiatives and are located in the Jordan, Canyons, Weber, Davis, Sevier, Washington County, Tooele County and Wasatch County school districts.
The coalition and its programs are supported by private donations.
"As more funds come in, then the list of schools that we're helping will expand," Olsen said.
Copper Hills High School is among the schools picked for a coalition grant. School counselor Debbie Lewis said in a prepared statement that help from outside organizations like the coalition fills a critical need in putting effective programs in place.
"Anti-bullying initiatives are essential to the well-being of students, their academic success and their future opportunities," she said.
Besides handing out the grants, the coalition is asking school leaders to encourage students and faculty to perform acts of kindness, which can be reported through school tip lines or on the Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition website.
One participating school will be selected each month to receive prizes from the coalition.
"What we're trying to do with that is to get kids thinking about being kind and being inclusive," Olsen said. "A smile, a pat on the back, a kind word it means a lot to these kids."