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Happy Schools – Get Ready for Pink Shirt Day and Get Ready to Give

Share Happiness!

February 26th is Pink Shirt Day: National Anti-Bullying day is not only a time to wear pink, practice kindness and show that you don’t tolerate bullying, it’s also a day to recognize how one act of giving created an incredible ripple effect, not just nationally, but globally.

Pink Shirt Day began back in 2007 when a couple of Canadian teenagers decided to stand up for a grade 9 boy who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. In an inspiring act of giving and solidarity, the teenagers gathered in the foyer of their high school and distributed 50 pink shirts to other boys. Wearing their pink shirts together in protest sent a strong symbolic message throughout their school that day – that bullying must stop. And it did, all because a couple kids decided to do something about it. Not only was that grade 9 boy no longer alone, but after that day, the bullying stopped, completely.

Since that day, this incredible story has not only inspired Canada to declare the last Wednesday of every February, National Anti-Bullying day, but it has also inspired Anti-Bullying days in other countries, such as The United States, France, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and in 2012, The United Nations declared May 4th, Anti-Bullying Day worldwide. Visit www.pinkshirtday.ca to read more about this far-reaching movement, and the 2020 message to Lift Each Other Up.

It really is awe-inspiring. Travis Price and David Shephard, two small-town Nova Scotia teenagers, simply decided to make a difference to end bullying in their school and it is now a difference being felt around the world – even in my home too.  I can see it in the eyes of my six-year-old daughter, when she proudly puts on her pink shirt and heads off to school to stand in solidarity with her schoolmates, their pink shirts like unspoken promises to each other, to never again tolerate bullying.

Pink Shirt Day is positively inspiring, and it’s not only the perfect time to remind our kids that kind really is the new cool, it’s also an ideal time to impart how each small gesture of daily giving has an ability to create change. Let Anti-Bullying Day inspire us to create happier schools every day, all schoolyear long. Start making your school happy through the daily habit of giving– beginning with one student, one give, one day at a time.

Daily Giving Makes Happy Schools – Here’s How To Get Started On Pink Shirt Day

  • Throw kindness around like confetti – Or at the very least place post-it notes of positivity plentifully around your school. Give an unexpecting student a smile by strategically placing a motivational sticky-note message on their locker today. I believe in you – you got this! While you’re at it, sharpen another student’s pencil, hold the door open, tie someone’s unruly shoelace, or hand out a few heartfelt high-fives.
  • Start a school giving tree – Let one act of giving inspire another and watch the giving grow. With a construction paper tree trunk in the school hallway, foyer, or gym, give students paper leaves to write down the daily gives they performed. Watch school happiness bloom while the giving tree grows. While you’re at it, why not hold a giving tree challenge and see how many gives your school can sow.
  • Create an after school giving club – A great way to make every day giving a priority at your school. Gather enthusiastic givers and start planning your daily gives. Discuss different ways that giving can add happy to your school – volunteering at the library, collecting litter in the schoolyard, mentoring newcomers at lunch or passing out kindness cards at recess.
  • Deck the stalls with tons of happy – School bathroom stalls, once notoriously known as breeding grounds for spitefully scrawled sentences and negative messages could be the perfect place for powerful posters of positivity. With poster board, markers, glitter and glue, give students good vibes. Better yet, with a little help from parents, print these inspirational posters on vinyl, or as magnets and start basking in bathroom happy.

 

Get your shirts ready and start thinking pink. Show your school how kindness and giving create bully-free happy schools.  And join The 365give Challenge to begin teaching your students why each and every day is a perfect day to give.

 

Kelly McLay
Kelly McLay
Torontonian Kelly McLay is a passionate social work student and a dedicated mother. With a strong desire to give back and a deep appreciation for creating change, she values the opportunity to volunteer with 365give; to be a part of a global movement that aims to change the world through the act of daily giving. As the single mom of a 6-year-old, Kelly appreciates the many ways that 365give inspires children, like her daughter, to make a difference by becoming changemakers too. Kelly feels fortunate to do her part as well, by inspiring and educating others how they can do theirs, one 365give blog post at a time.

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