ACT OF KINDNESS
Children invited to fun day in bid to deter bullying
Kindness for Kids
Fun Day about spreading anti-bullying message.
The Kindness for Kids Fun Day is about more than family fun — it’s about spreading the message that bullying is a problem the community is dedicated to solving.
Taking place this Sunday at Neville Park in Whitney Pier, it was an idea Amanda MacDonald had when she started an anti-bullying petition in June.
“When I was doing the petition … I heard a lot from parents who said their kids got bullied a lot and they felt alone,” explained the Whitney Pier native, who is the head organizer for the fun day.
“I figured this was a way to get the communities together so the kids could meet new friends and have some fun.”
MacDonald also wants to continue to spread an antibullying message and show kids who are being bullied there are people going through the same thing.
Katie Laybolt, mother of Xander Rose whose bullying story went viral after 200 motorcyclists escorted him to school in June, is a volunteer for the event.
“After the community was so good at coming together for my son, it was our way of giving back and helping give the kids a good day,” she explained.
Pointing out the main objective of the event is to have a free fun day for kids, Laybolt stressed there is also an important message.
“We as a community are aware that bullying exists and we need to make some corrections. We want the kids to be able to experience a day where they have to work together with other kids who might not come from their immediate social circle and still learn that acceptance is the goal. That’s how everyone learns how to get along,” said Laybolt, a mother of two boys.
“We are trying to set a good example for them before they all go back to school. We are trying to give them a positive experience to support a positive message.”
Support for the event has been good, from both people wanting to attend and businesses wanting to provide support.
“I personally spoke to most of the people who donated for this event and the amount of support we’ve gotten behind the cause is exceptional,” enthused Laybolt.
MacDonald is also happy with the support.
“It’s amazing. The DJ, Blazin’ Sounds, is coming down for free. A lot of the food was donated. We have all the pop donated from Cape Breton Beverages. So it isn’t costing as much as we thought it would,” she said.
MacDonald has information on resources available for youth from CaperBase, Family Services and Mental Health and Addictions that she will be handing out during the event.
Laybolt hopes the event puts the anti-bullying message back in people’s minds as families prepare for a new school year.
“Not just in the kids’ minds but the minds of the community as well,” she explained.
“So parents are aware, teachers are aware, the school board is aware before the new year starts, that as a community this is a problem we want to fix as a whole. Not something we expect them to fix on their own, but something we want to help them fix, as an entirety.”
Amanda MacDonald, left, and her mother, Barb Dellavalle, load the car with supplies for the Kindness for Kids Fun Day. It is a free event with games, activities, food and an anti-bullying message.