As Katie mentioned in The Secret Life of a College Prepster, in addition to having school spirit and studying hard, part of being a good CP is getting involved!
I’m very involved with a completely unique organization called The Grassroot Project. The Grassroot Project was started by Tyler Spencer after seeing a similar organization in South Africa called Grassroot Soccer. TGP uses Division I student athletes as role models to at-risk youth in Washington, DC. We go into schools and teach the kids about HIV/AIDS and the life skills they will need to prevent contracting the virus.
***The Grassroot Project has proven to be effective in significantly reducing sexual risk behavior, decreasing stigma, and improving students’ HIV-related knowledge, attitudes, communication, and decision-making.***

What makes the program so great is that instead of boring lectures, we use the universal love of SPORTS to get the messages across. The kids absolutely LOVE it (and so do the student athletes)!!! For example, one of the games we play is called “Find the Ball.” Everyone is divided into two groups. The kids form two lines (facing each other) by standing, very tightly, shoulder-to-shoulder with hands behind their backs. Tennis balls are passed from kid to kid while everyone chants, “Find the Ball.” After the ball has been passed around enough, each team tries to guess who has the ball on the other team. The point of the game is to show the kids that you can’t tell just by looking at someone that they are HIV positive.

Tyler has organized an AMAZING trip to Soweto, South Africa. The Team Up campaign is going to match up 15 middle schoolers from DC with 15 kids from Soweto as pen pals as they all participate in parallel Grassroot programs. The students will exchange videos leading up to the 2010 WORLD CUP. The trip is going to bring the DC students to South Africa for a week playing soccer, sharing stories, and working together on a project to spread awareness of the effects of HIV/AIDS in both communities.

HIV/AIDS is a GLOBAL issue- 1 in 20 DC adults are HIV positive. Team Up hopes to bring the global battle against HIV/AIDS to the 2010 World Cup.

Please consider donating to help send DC students to South Africa!!!

This program is absolutely incredible… I love spending every minute with the kids and I know we’re making a difference.

Please help me spread the word by tweeting this post, posting this post on your own blog, and sharing with your friends and family.

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Beth Dunn

Hey cutie! I'd love for you to write for The Official Preppy Mafia. Let's connect soon on topic. beth at socialclimbers dot net