ACT OF KIND­NESS

Chil­dren in­vited to fun day in bid to de­ter bul­ly­ing

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY NIKKI SUL­LI­VAN nicole.sul­li­van@cb­post.com

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.”

NIKKI SUL­LI­VAN/CAPE BRETON POST

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.

Lay­bolt

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