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Battling it out: Kids learn about, raise money for bullying prevention

Project My Neighborhood co-founder Matt Nelson teaches a crowd of kids the signal he uses to mean 'quiet' during a presentation on bullying prevention on Aug. 11, 2018, at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. Hannah Black / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 6
Two toy battle participants prepare to confront opponents behind a blow-up obstacle on Aug. 11, 2018, at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. Hannah Black / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 6
University of Minnesota mascot Goldy Gopher enters the fray in a toy battle on Aug. 11, 2018, at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. Hannah Black / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 6
A toy battle participant loads his Nerf weapon with foam darts on Aug. 11, 2018, at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. Hannah Black / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 6
Dorian, 4, prepares to shoot at an opponent during the toy battle on Aug. 11, 2018, at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. Hannah Black / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 6
Stella Strong, 5, stands at the ready during the toy battle on Aug. 11, 2018, at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. Hannah Black / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 6

They didn’t quite break a record, but the East Ridge High School grounds in Woodbury were filled with kids — and some adults — ready to battle bullying on Saturday, Aug. 11.

In between Nerf gun battles and games like capture the flag, Project My Neighborhood co-founder Matt Nelson stood in front of the crowd of kids, teaching lessons about bullying while writing on a large notepad that sat on an easel.

The five lessons Nelson strives to teach at every event are to protect yourself, that you are not alone, how to overcome adversity, the impact our choices have and “the slippery slope of teasing vs. bullying.”

The non-profit will host at least two more toy battles in Minnesota this year, according to its Facebook page.

Hannah Black

Hannah Black is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism interested in the intersection of politics and the everyday lives of citizens. Outside of reporting, she enjoys running, going to museums and concerts, and trying new coffee shops and breweries. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her dog, Wendell.

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