Life Promotions, founded by international speaker and author Bob Lenz, is partnering with Lifetouch, the world’s largest employee-owned photography company, to supply Lenz’ new book entitled Dignity Revolution: Standing up for the value of every person, to 6000 middle schools around the nation. Co-authored with award-winning educator, Deborah Tackmann, Dignity Revolution is a culmination of Lenz’ three decades of leading assemblies in over 3000 public schools on the issues of bullying, self-harm, suicide and substance abuse. Since 1982, Lenz has reached an estimated four million youth in the U.S. and around the world.
“We are humbled and thrilled that Lifetouch has partnered with us to get this book into the hands of students and teachers around the nation,” says Lenz. “If you look at the number of addictions, cuttings, suicides, and school shootings, it can be discouraging. So how can we help this generation that seems to have so many opportunities before them, use those opportunities to their advantage in positive ways? That’s what I hope we can accomplish with the Dignity Revolution. The 8th and 9th grader is our core target group. We recognize we may not be able to stop all bullying, but we can teach kids how to stand up for themselves and not become victims of others, and how not to become bullies.”
The book includes a pledge that students can take, as well as a 21-day challenge that Lenz hopes will begin to change the hearts and minds of kids, and thereby, change the social culture in schools across the nation. “First, we start by taking away the affects of the bully by empowering their victims," says Lenz. "We also makes sure each student knows that they do not deserve to be picked on or ridiculed. If a bully cannot get the reaction they want, it shuts them down. Second, we need to love the bullies. Many anti-bullying programs suggest holding the bully accountable, which they should, but they often fail to address the underlying issues spawning the negative behavior. Teachers, counselors and youth leaders need to offer the bully a safe place to confide about his or her own life. They are acting out for some reason, and it should be part of any school's plan to try to counsel those that are causing harm."
For Dignity Revolution, Lenz teamed with Deborah Tackmann, B.S., M.E.P.D., a health education instructor, consultant and author in the Eau Claire Area School District in Wisconsin. She was selected as one of the top teachers in the nation by USA Today, was awarded National Education Professional of the Year by ASHA and AAHE, and is a Disney Teacher Award recipient.
LifeTouch began in 1936, when Bruce Reinecker and Eldon Rothgeb made plans to bring their “School Photography of Distinction” to one-room schoolhouses through rural Minnesota. With $500 in start-up money, they set to work. Sharing a tiny apartment, a cramped office space, and a dream, the two hopeful and ambitious young men poured their skills and talents into their company, which they named National School Studios. A little more than a decade after its founding, National School Studios had become the largest school photography firm in the country. In 1978, Reinecker demonstrated his commitment to Lifetouch when he transferred 100 percent of the company’s ownership to its employees. Today, under the leadership of Hamel, Lifetouch and its subsidiaries serve the photographic needs of all ages.
Life Promotions is a non-profit organization that also birthed the annual Lifest event which hosts over 20,000 people for a time of music and teaching in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Lenz has worked with numerous national organizations including MADD, Boys and Girls Clubs, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Youth Encounter, Young Life, NFL Chaplains, among many others. He has headlined tours with Grammy-nominated band, The Newsboys, and been the featured speaker at numerous festivals including AtlantaFest, Creation, Rock the Desert, and many others. For more information on Dignity Revolution, visit www.dignityrevolutionpledge.com or www.lifepromotions.com. For more information on Lifetouch, visit www.lifetouch.com.