On Thursday August 24, 2017, just before Anne Arundel County Public Schools opened for the year, Crofton Is Kind (a project of Kindness Grows Here, Inc) held a back to school anti-bullying event.
The event was moderated by our founder, Kristen Caminiti, and included the following student leaders from our local schools:
- Madi Hostelley, 10th Grade, Archbishop Spalding High School
- Hannah Gill, 10th Grade, Old Mill High School
- Addison Bridges, 7th Grade, Crofton Middle
- Campbell Gelineau, 6th grade, Home Schooled
- Luke Stevens, 6th grade, Central Middle (STEM)
- Caitlin DeBoy, 5th grade, Crofton Woods Elementary
In attendance were students, parents, teachers and administrators from local schools, as well as Mr. Christopher Truffer the assistant superintendent for the Arundel and South River clusters as well as Dr. George Arlotto, the superintendent of schools for Anne Arundel County Public Schools.
The event started by identifying what bullying behavior is, as well as discussing strategies for standing up to bullies. Attendees were reminded that bullies often choose their targets because they are different. But, differences are NOT something we should be making people feel bad about. Our differences should be celebrated. Caminiti encouraged students to imagine what would happen “if we all looked the same, had the same skin color, acted the same, loved the same people, came from the same countries, and had the same strengths and weaknesses? The world would be pretty boring!”
Throughout the evening participants were encouraged to make the connection between their actions, choices, and decisions, and how these things define who they are as a person. Using a “game show” skit, books, and music this engaging and audience involved event helped participants realize that to be seen as a kind person, they must act in a kind way. They must make kind choices. They must use kind words.
At the end of the event all attendees were given “Its COOL to be KIND” bracelets that they were encouraged to wear as a reminder to themselves and others of the importance of being kind in all we do!
Then, Mr. Solo the local ice cream man came to show that being kind, and standing up to bullies is important to everyone in the community. Every student in attendance was given a free Popsicle and blow pop courtesy of Mr. Solo!