Participants were “Walk’n Tall” at the Fourth Annual Kidsbridge Walk2Stop Bullying!
The Kidsbridge Fourth Annual Walk2Stop Bullying held on Saturday, June 13 was a huge success. 350 participants enjoyed the new venue, located at ETS / Educational Testing Service’s corporate campus. Philadelphia Insurance was the Presenting Sponsor.
Prior to the start of the Walk, attendees were also energized by a very personal performance of her anti-bullying anthem, “The Wiz in Me,” by hip hop rapper Substance and her enthusiastic dancers. Our youngest visitors got their faces painted, played with hula hoops, threw Frisbees and participated in other kid-friendly activities. Many chose to make stick puppets and Walk banners, which they proudly displayed as they made the one-mile journey.
A formal onstage presentation of awards was made to the winners of the First Annual UPSTANDER / BULLYING PREVENTION YOUTH COMPETITION for 2015. Open to students throughout the Garden State, this year’s contest theme was: What it means to be an UPstander. More than 800 posters, essays and video PSAs were submitted. In the age categories of second/third, fourth/fifth and sixth/eighth grades, goodie bags, gift cards and certificates were given to the first, second, third and runners up. All Walk participants had the opportunity to go to “The Gallery” in Conant Hall (at ETS), featuring the winning essays, posters and video PSA’s. Kidsbridge is working to have “The Gallery” travel to other companies and corporations throughout New Jersey. Click here for a list of winners by category.
Immediately following was an onstage presentation regaling the winners of the First Annual Educator Character Education Leadership Awards. Co-sponsored by Source4Teachers, these educators were nominated by fellow educators for outstanding character education/bullying prevention leadership. These winners were nominated for their actions that have made a difference to improve their school’s caring climate in bullying prevention and/or character education. Congratulations to our three winners and the other caring educators nominated for their efforts in their schools.
|First Place||Second Place||Third Place|
|Dr. Kathleen Pecoraro, Principal
Liberty Corner Elementary School
Bernards Township School District
|Dr. Lorise Goeke, Superintendent
South Bound Brook School District
|Mrs. Mary Beth Ragozzino
Glassboro High School
Glassboro Public Schools
Another new exciting event occurring after the Walk ended included a free program entitled: Calm & Confident Yoga — Bullying Prevention for All Ages. Presented by Sheltered Yoga, Tina LeMar demonstrated ways for children, teens and adults to use breathing and stretching exercises to control their emotions and clear their minds during stressful situations.
Kidsbridge Executive Director, Lynne Azarchi, was thrilled with the day, saying “We were so happy to have so many people join us for this important cause. Bullying is a problem that impacts negatively on everybody. Walking together to share thoughts and strategies to become UPstanders is what today was all about!”
Kidsbridge Board Chair, Frank Lucchesi, echoed Lynne’s words, “We cannot thank our volunteers and sponsors enough for their participation and support. ETS provided an excellent site for our Walk. It was one of our best yet!”
2015 Photo Gallery
Presenting: Philadelphia Insurance Companies; Inspiration: PSE&G and Wawa; Intervenor: Source4Teachers; Admiration: PNC Bank, Stark & Stark, Wells Fargo; School Angels: First Choice Bank, Gluck Walrath LLP, NJBIA, NJ Manufacturers Insurance, RICOH, Wellness Coaches USA