A friend­ship ad­ven­ture

Ron­ald McDon­ald vis­its Heard-Mixon to talk about tol­er­ance

The Covington News - - School beat - By Jenny Thompson

Heard-Mixon El­e­men­tary School stu­dents had a spe­cial visit from Ron­ald McDon­ald Wed­nes­day morn­ing when the McDon­ald’s mas­cot dis­cussed tol­er­ance, bul­ly­ing and friend­ship with chil­dren at the school in a mu­sic and magic filled per­for­mance.

“I’ve trav­eled all over the world and I’ve been to all kinds of coun­tries where they speak dif­fer­ent lan­guages,” McDon­ald said, “and you know what I found in all those places — friends.”

He said the word friend sounds and looks very sim­i­lar in Span­ish, Ital­ian and French — amigo, amico and ami — which is a good way to re­mem­ber peo­ple who ap­pear very dif­fer­ent of­ten have some ways they are alike.

He added hav­ing friends who are dif­fer­ent is a good thing.

“Then you can learn from each other and grow,” McDon­ald said.

At the be­gin­ning of the per­for­mance, McDon­ald di­vided the stu­dents into three groups and had them make the sound of a thun­der­storm. Some stu­dents made the sound of the wail­ing wind, oth­ers the sound of fall­ing rain and oth­ers, of course, loud claps of thun­der.

“One of the neat things I like when I’m with my friends is the great things we can do to­gether,” McDon­ald said. “We call that co­op­er­a­tion.”

McDon­ald also had the stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in an­other co­op­er­a­tion ex­er­cise where the same groups made the phrase “boom, laka-laka-laka, boom, laka-laka-laka, boom, laka-laka, chicka-boom.”

The stu­dents then said the phrase to the beat of a jazzy horn, bass and gui­tar melody.

“One in­stru­ment sounds nice, but when you put a bunch to­gether, you have a sym­phony,” McDon­ald said.

Af­ter the co­op­er­a­tion ex­er­cises McDon­ald sang a song about friend­ship and said friends do not pick on each other, laugh at the other’s mis­takes, call the other names or place blame on the other.

He said bul­lies can be boys or girls and come in all shapes and sizes.

“Bul­lies want you to fail be­cause they think — I don’t think, but they think— it makes them look bet­ter,” McDon­ald said.

He said if a bully picks on chil­dren, they should ig­nore it and be­lieve in them­selves. He said a friend would tell a par­ent or a teacher.

How­ever, McDon­ald said par­ents and teach­ers are not al­ways around to scold a bully.

“When a teacher is near, bul- lies dis­ap­pear,” McDon­ald said.

McDon­ald il­lus­trated this point by play­ing the Bully, Bully, Bully Game, where a stu­dent and a teacher had to guess which base­ball cap a round, green bully was un­der in sort of a shell game.

The teacher McDon­ald picked never cor­rectly guessed where the bully was to prove his point “when a teacher is near, bul­lies dis­ap­pear.”

Re­ally, the teacher’s bully was stuck to her back.

“I guess that just shows you when a teacher’s back is turned, a bully will re­turn,” McDon­ald said.

He told the stu­dents if one of their friends ever started bul­ly­ing some­one, to tell them to stop be­cause not only would they be help­ing the per­son be­ing picked on, but also help­ing their friend to be­come a bet­ter per­son.

McDon­ald also en­cour­aged the stu­dents to pro­tect stu­dents they didn’t know from bul­lies be­cause they might be­come a friend.

“Work­ing to­gether makes us bet­ter,” McDon­ald said.

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Mak­ing friends: Dur­ing the morn­ing pre­sen­ta­tion of “A Friend­ship Ad­ven­ture with Ron­ald McDon­ald,” stu­dents from Heard-Mixon El­e­men­tary join Ron­ald for a group photo at the end of Wed­nes­day’s fun-filled pre­sen­ta­tion. The pre­sen­ta­tion is spon­sored by Cov­ing­ton McDon­ald’s.

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Clown­ing around: Heard-Mixon El­e­men­tary sec­ond grader Ali­cia Nyka­nen pre­pares to play the Bully, Bully, Bully Game with Ron­ald McDon­ald Wed­nes­day morn­ing in the school’s gym­na­sium.

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