Leadership students (from left to right) Sophia Toneatto, Maia McCoy and Oscar Grainger at KVR Middle School set up events for Kindness Week for their fellow students, including on Wednesday where they asked kids to pop balloons with negative messages to reveal ones of kindness inside. Kristi Patton/Western News

Video: Penticton kids leading the charge against bullying

KVR students hosting event to recognize Pink Shirt Day and Kindness Week

By Brennan Phillips

Special to the Western News

Throughout the year schools push to celebrate compassion and friendship, and they are highlighting these efforts with Kindness Week.

“We’ve found over the years that it’s better to do a whole week, rather than just have a one-off event. We do kindness activities throughout the year,” said Jennifer Wingham, vice-principal of KVR Middle School. “It really helps raise the idea about how being kind is the way to combat bullying.”

KVR has turned Pink Shirt Day, a day of anti-bullying awareness recognized on Feb. 28, into a week of activities, many of these spearheaded by the Leadership Students at the school.

On Pink Shirt Day on Wednesday, the Leadership Students invited their classmates to the gym to pop balloons with negative messages inside, to find something positive inside.

“The intent is showing that if something mean is said, you can make it go away, and come out with something positive,” said Leadership Student Maia McCoy. “It’s important so that people know they can always have something positive in their life.”

Students were given a balloon, each one marked with statements such as “This balloon has more friends than you,” or simply “ugly.” After popping them they would find inside a couple pieces of candy and small sheet of paper which had different messages including, “Kindness begins with you.”

Around the Okanagan-Skaha district schools are celebrating Pink Shirt Day with their own events that have stretched into Kindness Week. Carmi Elementary is doing a kindness theme all month, Penticton Secondary School asked students to put positive notes on all the lockers and is hosting presentations for both students and parents at KVR School about appropriate online use.

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