The Fifth Annual Kidsbridge WALK2STOP BULLYING Saw Participants STANDUP4 DIVERSITY
The Kidsbridge Fifth Annual WALK2STOP BULLYING was held on Saturday, June 18 at ETS / Educational Testing Service’s corporate campus in Princeton. More than 300 adults, children and teens enjoyed a beautiful weather morning and were treated to a plethora of interesting activities and events. Said Kidsbridge Board President Frank Lucchesi, “Kidsbridge is grateful to our Presenting Sponsor, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, for their major support. And the purchase a van for our mobile outreach programs could not take place without Wawa’s backing and partnership.”
This year’s Walk was a little different than the four previous Walks in that there was a co-theme. Not only did participants WALK2STOP BULLYING, but they were asked to STANDUP4 DIVERSITY as well. In this year’s presidential campaign, there has been too much name-calling, perpetuation of stereotypes and disrespect for different religions, races and cultures. Kidsbridge Executive Director, Lynne Azarchi, explains why diversity needed to be spotlighted at this Walk, “Bullying and cyberbullying for children of color is increasing. Also, Muslim children are being victimized more. We added STANDUP4 DIVERSITY activities to our annual WALK2STOP BULLYING because we want our community to come together to become UPstanders and demand respect and kindness for everyone — especially for our children now.”
Special STANDUP4 DIVERSITY events included:
- COMMUNITY UNITY CHAIN ~ Participants celebrated individuality and diversity by joining hands to form a LONG human chain
- Selfies Kiosk ~ Friends old and new took photos with our Kidsbridge Diversity Dolls and other fun props & sayings — and shared them on social media
- “How We Include & Respect Others” Banner ~ People signed their names and added personal stories, statements or favorite quotes to our giant banner
These activities highlighted this year’s Walk and kept people busy for what many participants indicated was a fun way to spend a morning. Said one walker, “I was a former TCNJ Education major when I first learned about Kidsbridge, and volunteered in the Tolerance Center working with the students and learning bullying prevention techniques. I loved it! It really helped me prepare for my job as a teacher working with kids with special needs. I come to the Walk when I can. I love Kidsbridge!”
Check out our photo gallery below, which captured many of the fun activities listed below:
- Refreshments (fruit, bagels, apple packs & snack bars)
- Music by DJ Mike Galvin from MG Entertainment
- Live performance of “The Wiz in Me” by Substance and her energetic hip-hop dancers
- Family-friendly activities, including face painting, hula hoops and games for kids
- An awards ceremony for the winners of our statewide Second Annual Creative Character Education Youth Competition, including “The Gallery” featuring the winning essay, poster and PSA video submissions. Click here.
- A regaling of the winners of the Second Annual Educator Leadership in Character Education Awards, a statewide competition co-sponsored with SOURCE4TEACHERS. Click here.
- Calm & Confident Yoga — Bullying Prevention for All Ages (presented by Tina LeMar of Sheltered Yoga); participants learned to use breathing and stretching exercises to control their emotions and clear their minds during stressful situations.
- Resource table for parents & educators including bullying prevention and diversity appreciation activities
- Dedication of the new and decorated Kidsbridge Van, to be used for outreach programs to schools & camps in NJ (notice our “UPSTANDR” NJ license plates)
Thank you attendees and volunteers!
Check out the terrific photos from our event:
2016 Photo Gallery
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
The Third Annual KIDSBRIDGE WALK2STOP BULLYING, held on June 8th, 2014 was a success! Taking place The College of New Jersey’s (TCNJ) campus, the 1.5 mile walk began on the mall near student center and ended at an open house in the Tolerance Museum where docents gave tours, answered questions, and provided strategies on various subjects including bullying prevention and character education.
Approximately 400 participants enjoyed breakfast foods and beverages while listening to the upbeat music played by D.J. Mike Galvin from MG Entertainment. There were also several kids’ activities meant to get everyone moving and in the mood to walk, including hula hoops, juggling, frisbees and face painting. Children and adults alike were encouraged to create posters promoting their family or group’s efforts, and created personal messages that answered the question, “WHY DO YOU WALK2STOP BULLYING?”
New to many enjoying the Walk’s festivities was hip hop rapper Substance. Substance and her posse of dancers really got the crowd going as she performed her anti-bullying anthem, THE WIZ IN ME. As a victim of bullying herself, this very personal song expressed how hurtful – and lasting – the scars of bullying can be. Check out the link to hear THE WIZ IN ME http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTZ_n-k7tDU.
Immediately following, Kidsbridge honored the winners of the Young Humanitarians Awards for 2014. Students were nominated by their teachers for their extraordinary act of kindheartedness or service to the community, or demonstrated peaceful resolution of a conflict, compassion for the less fortunate, and/or kindness to all living things and the world in which we all live. Two adult awards were also given to teachers for outstanding school leadership in a character education program, or those that have opened the eyes of their students by guiding them to consider activism, volunteerism and acts of good will.
Executive Director, Lynne Azarchi states, “Bullying generally begins in the elementary grades, peaks in the sixth through eighth grades, and persists into high school…and on to adulthood. The hurtful scars from the torment, embarrassment, and bullying remain throughout a victim’s lifetime – whether seen or unseen.”
Kidsbridge Board President Frank Lucchesi notes, “Bullying is a problem that negatively affects us all. We all know children, friends, family members and coworkers who can quickly share personal stories of being bullied. Bullying is a problem that has to be stopped.”
A special thanks to presenting sponsor Philadelphia Insurance Companies and inspiration sponsors PSE&G and Wawa. Thank you to other corporate sponsors, including: GluckWalrath LLC, AK Environmental, PNC Bank, Source4Teachers, Stark & Stark, and Wells Fargo.
“Kidsbridge wishes to send a heartfelt ‘thanks’ to all our volunteers. An event like this could not be successful without your efforts. And of course, ‘thank you’ to the walkers for your participation, enthusiasm and support” said Azarchi.
2014 Photo Gallery
Frank Jacobs, Photographer
Presenting: Philadelphia Insurance Companies; Inspiration: PSE&G, Wawa; Intervenor: Gluck Walrath LLP, AK Environmental, PNC Bank, Source4Teachers, Stark & Stark, First Choice Bank, NJ Manufacturers Insurance, Sodexo; Honorary Walk Chairs: Michael Gluck & Brian O’Reilly
The Second Annual KIDSBRIDGE WALK2STOP BULLYING was held on Sunday morning, June 2, 2013 on campus at The College of New Jersey in Ewing. Although temperatures were in the upper 80s, the light breeze helped keep volunteers and walkers alike from getting too overheated or feeling too uncomfortable. On this hot day, spirits were high and the two-mile loop was just long enough for the almost 500 kids and adults – along with a few dogs! — walking to raise awareness and funding to combat bullying.
- Registration – all participants received a Walk2Stop Bullying T-Shirt and wrist band
- Activities for kids and youth – fun face painting, Kids’ Home Depot Building Project, Hula Hoops, Frisbee and Football toss
- Grammy winning kids’ entertainer Miss Amy — who performed some of her hits got the crowd stretched, energized and ready to walk!
- A station to make sign and banners – to make personal statements about what the Walk means to you and why bullying and cyberbullying need to be addressed NOW!
- Refreshments: Coffee, juice, bagels, fruit and breakfast bars
There was a brief presentation on stage announcing the 2013 winners of the Young Humanitarian Awards. Honored youth were nominated for their humanitarian efforts by school principals, teachers and counselors in Mercer County. Click on the link to learn more. 2013 Young Humanitarian Award Winners
An open house in the Kidsbridge Tolerance Museum was featured. Located in Forcina Hall on TCNJ’s campus, Kidsbridge is the ONLY youth dedicated anti-bullying museum on a college campus in the United States.
Kidsbridge wishes to thank our presenting sponsor WELLS FARGO, and other generous sponsors including: PSE&G, Wawa, Gluck Walrath LLP, Source 4 Teachers, Philadelphia Insurance, Gluck Family Foundation, Phoenix Advisors, Janney Montgomery Scott and PNC Bank. Without their support and commitment, the Walk would not take place, and would not have been the fun event it was!
On behalf of our honorary Walk Chairs Michael Gluck of Gluck Walrath, LLP and Brenda Ross-Dulan of Wells Fargo, and our Walk Co-Chairs Amy Gonzales and Stephanie Wall, thank you to our Kidsbridge staff and Board, our many volunteers, our talented performers and of course, our Walk participants for making our 2013 Walk such a success!
2013 Photo Gallery
Presenting: Wells Fargo; Esteem: PSE&G; Intervenor: Geltzer Family Foundation, Philadelphia Insurance, Source4Teachers; Admiration: Gluck Walrath, LLP, Phoenix Advisors, Adventure Aquarium, AK Environmental, Capital Health, Gluck Family Foundation, Janney Montgomery Scott, PNC Bank, Withum, Smith & Brown; Angel: First Choice Bank, NJ Manufacturers Insurance, Spectra Energy, Stark & Stark; InKind Donations: Home Depot, Mercer County Park Commission, Sodexo.
2012 Inaugural Walk
2012 Video Gallery
The inaugural KIDSBRIDGE WALK2STOP BULLYING was held on Sunday morning, June 3, 2012 on campus at The College of New Jersey in Ewing. Walking around a two-mile loop on what was a beautiful weather day provided an opportunity for kids, educators, families and community members to rally together against bullying. Plenty of enthusiasm, many smiling faces! Children, youth and adults alike showed that they were happy to participate and wanted to stomp out bullying!
The main event was the Walk itself, but pre-Walk festivities included Grammy winning kids’ entertainer Miss Amy, kids’ activities and an open house in the Kidsbridge Tolerance Museum. Food and drink fueled out walkers before the inaugural start.
Thank you to our presenting sponsor WELLS FARGO, to our Kidsbridge staff and Board, our many volunteers, our generous sponsors, our talented performers and of course our Walk participants. Without all of you, the event wouldn’t have been the success it was!
2012 Photo Gallery
Presenting: Wells Fargo; Ally: PSE&G; Intervenor: Gluckwalrath, LLP, Janney Montgomery, Mac Title, TYCO International, WaWa; Admiration: AK Environmental, Geltzer Family Foundation, Phoenix Advisors, Stark & Stark; Angel: AAA Atlantic, Educational Testing Service, Rahl and Associates, Rubin, Ehrlich & Buckley.