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Lockhart School Students Earn National Anti-Bullying Award

PACER Center’s National Bullying Prevention Center has honored the Primary Explorers, Artists and Future Architects Club and Performing Artists in Action Club of Lockhart Elementary School, on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, at the National Unity Awards on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minn. These second annual awards celebrate those who have made outstanding contributions to address and prevent bullying.
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center invited students, parents, educators and community members to submit nominations of individuals and groups who have gone above and beyond to help address bullying in their city or state. Nominations and inspiring stories were received from across the United States in four award categories: United Against Bullying, United for Kindness, United for Acceptance and United for Inclusion.
Award recipients were selected by the Youth Advisory Board of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. The Lockhart students were awarded the United for Inclusion Award.
Students in the Primary Explorers, Artists and Future Architects Club have taken a stand to forego participating in all forms of negative behavior. Instead, they spend their free time “creating things of beauty” or engaging in fun activities.
“I nominate this club because students come together to enforce the virtues and citizen character skills of kindness, respect, cooperation, diversity, compassion and unity,” educator JoAnne Saunders wrote. “This club practices inclusion daily, as many of the members come from other islands and know little or no English, and others have various disabilities.”
The members of Lockhart’s Performing Artists in Action Club, comprised of 10 students in second to fourth grade, use singing, dancing, chanting, skits and poetry to empower their peers and other students to turn away from violence, bullying, name-calling and “rough-housing” during recess.
“These students use their leisure time being kind and helpful to their younger schoolmates in our kindergartens and first-grade classrooms, and especially our therapeutic students with special needs,” Saunders said. “They help bridge the gap between rival students by getting them involved in group activities.”
In addition to the award presentations, the ceremony included a special performance by 16-year-old Tristan McIntosh, of Nashville, Tenn., who this spring rose to stardom in a national TV competition. In 2011, as an 11-year-old, McIntosh recorded the song “You Can’t Take That Away from Me” for the National Bullying Prevention Center “Unity Dance” song, which celebrates the importance of looking out for each other and embracing each other’s differences.
“We hear hundreds of stories every year about individuals who make a positive impact and we are excited that a few of those amazing individuals were honored at the event,” said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. “The Unity Awards are a celebration to show how much we appreciate the special contributions that are being made across the country to prevent bullying.”
The event was presented by PACER Center and the Faces of Change, the Youth Advisory Board of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. For information, visit www.pacer.org/bullying/getinvolved/unity-awards.asp or call 952-838-9000.
About PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center: Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center actively leads social change, so that bullying is no longer considered an accepted childhood rite of passage. PACER provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students. PACER offers tools to address bullying in schools, in the community and online.
For information, visit: PACER.org/bullying or call 952-838-9000 or 888-248-0822 (national toll free).
 

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