by Karen Chavez '17
On March 1, 2016, Fontbonne students, faculty, and administration began their day with a two hour assembly for the KIND campaign.
The KIND campaign is an organization founded by two women, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Mae Thompson. This organization is about the bullying between girl to girl and how women can overcome this negativity and bring more positivity. The founders of the KIND campaign made a documentary that showed them on a road trip spreading positivity and kindness.
When the documentary ended, the students and faculty participated in activities. They were given three colored cards. The first card that was given was to write down a pledge to be kind to others. The second card was to write down an apology letter. The third and final card was to write a letter to someone thanking them. The letters included heartfelt messages to others. Dozens of students went up and revealed their third card. Every single person in the auditorium was touched by all the positivity that was being spread in the gym.
Anette Tikkop, junior, said,” I liked the KIND campaign because it spreaded awareness on the negative effect of bullying and demonstrated how important it is to stand up for one another and spread positivity.”
When the assembly was over, students and faculty were non stop talking about the KIND campaign.
This campaign was introduced by Chemistry teacher, Ms. Scherpf.
by Jenna Borrelli '16
On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the entire Fontbonne community gathered together to listen to senior student, Kristen Fitzpatrick, share her personal insight on mental illness and how it related to the KIND assembly.
To wrap up the presentation, Fitzpatrick delivered a tear jerking speech that warmed the hearts of the audience. She began by sharing her personal experience of losing her father last April to suicide because of mental illness. She also mentioned her constant struggle with anxiety.
At this point during the assembly, almost every person was searching for tissues, even the teachers. Instead of focusing on the grief, Fitzpatrick tied in the lesson that everyone must value their lives and the lives of others. She brought forth the idea of being kind to one another because everyone is struggling with their own battle.
For those who struggle with mental illness, or any illness at all, seeking help is the best thing to do.
Fitzpatrick mentioned, “I’ll tell you one thing, every single one of us in this room can benefit from going to therapy; whether it be for a specific issue or just to work on bettering yourself.”
Whether a student deals with family issues, exceedingly high stress levels, anxiety, or even depression, it is important to not be afraid to ask for help. Some people may feel that their problems aren't as serious or life threatening, but a small issue can easily transform into a larger one. This explains why Fitzpatrick stressed the idea of seeking help and finding kindness within.
Another important lesson Fitzpatrick included, was one that she learned from her father. James Fitzpatrick said, “Life is just a drop in the bucket, once we have fulfilled our life’s purpose, we are taken home to God.”
After sharing her father’s words, Fitzpatrick left us all with a question to ponder. “My question to you is, what are you going to do with your one precious life, what will your drop in the bucket be?” said Fitzpatrick.
Following her powerful last words, Fitzpatrick received a standing ovation and a roaring applause. From the looks of the staff, faculty and students facial expressions, her speech hit home and touched the lives of many.
by Jillian Corozzo '16
On March 1, 2016, for the very first time, the student body of Fontbonne Hall Academy led an anti-bullying assembly without any preparation or agenda. Science teacher and alum, Ms. Scherpf ‘08 presented Finding KIND, a feature documentary produced by the KIND campaign against female adolescent bullying. Following this film, the student body was invited up to the podium, in front of students, faculty and staff, to read what they wrote on their “Kind Cards.”
“I saw it as an opportunity to let people know how much I admired them and certain aspects of their personalities.” said Elyssa Silverman ‘17, who read her Kind Card out loud to her friend, Melody Tobin ‘18. “Sometimes people need acknowledgment of their positive qualities to serve as a little confidence boost.”
Silverman, along with about 30 other students, stood up and acknowledged someone who was either their best friend or someone they don’t talk to on a daily basis. Whoever it was, it was someone who has done a random act of kindness that has left such an impact on them.
The Kind Card was only one of the cards filled out by students and faculty during the assembly. The campaign also provided “Kind Pledge” Cards and “Kind Apology” Cards. The Kind Pledge was a card that was written on to promise to always think positively and be a genuinely kind person. Some people shared that they pledged to say “hi” to someone in the hallway who looks like they were having a rough day, and some pledged to sit with someone who is sitting alone at their lunch table.
The Kind Apology was a card written out to a certain person that one has felt they needed to apologize to. Whether it was sent to someone who mean things were said about last week, two years ago or ten years ago-the entire student body distributed these cards to a friend deserving of an apology.
While the Kind Pledges were shared to the student body for anyone willing to get up and speak, the Kind Apologies remained private. After the assembly, several pairs of girls in the courtyard handed each other little pink slips and embraced. Friendships were formed and mended in that span of two hours, social predicaments were resolved.
Following the assembly, assistant principal Mrs. Wierzbowski put up a “Kind Wall” in the cafeteria. This wall was put into action to keep the spirit of the KIND campaign going for more than just a day. This wall was instituted as a reminder that every girl and faculty member in this school is loved, cherished and appreciated.
The KIND campaign is something that will last a forever in the halls of Fontbonne.
by Joanna Colasanto '17
On March 1, 2016, the faculty, staff, and students gathered in Fontbonne Hall Academy’s gymnasium for an assembly about the Kind Campaign, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about the issue of girl-against-girl bullying.
Ms. Scherpf, a member of the science department, discovered the Kind Campaign while on Instagram and was intrigued by the message presented. Ms. Scherpf believed it was important to share the campaign with Fontbonne’s student body because it highlighted an issue that is easily overlooked in many schools.
At the assembly, a documentary created by the two owners of the campaign, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson, was presented to show just how real the situation actually is. The documentary that Parsekian and Thompson created, consisted of several in depth interviews from girls all across the United States that have been personally affected by other girls. The documentary was followed by a moving discussion about kindness.
Each student received three cards labeled KIND Pledge, KIND Apology, and KIND Card. They were encouraged to fill them out. Students were then given the opportunity to present their KIND Pledge or KIND Card during the assembly.
Alyssa Federico, a student at FHA, stated that the KIND campaign “emphasized on the importance to spread positivity and kindness because you never truly know what someone is going through and the hardships they may be enduring.”
After the assembly, the students, faculty, and staff felt encouraged to continue to spread kindness and love to all those they encountered.
by Molly Clark '16
On March 1, 2016, over 400 people were able to gain a fresh perspective on bullying between young women. An assembly was held in the Fontbonne gym to spread the message of the Kind Campaign. Its goal is to eliminate “girl-on-girl” bullying. Harmful comments and verbal attacks are the main issues that girls face in regards to bullying.
The assembly began with a short introduction on the origins of the organization and segmented into a documentary explaining the mission of the Kind Campaign. The film featured the leaders of the organization, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson, traveling across the country. They asked people what they thought about girl-on-girl crime and why it happens.
Students were able to hear the stories of every person interviewed during the documentary and found that everyone has a reaction to words. It was shown that girls don’t simply let issues go when faced with someone who is bullying them.
“I think that is was good that we were able to see the effects that words can have on each other,” said Rene Biondo, a senior.
She found that the assembly was an important experience for girls in high school. It validated the emotions that victims of bullying had and worked to begin a healing process for people who have had conflicts in the past.
The assembly ended with three cards being filled by students. One was a pledge to do something good for the people around you, one was an apology for the behavior they’ve taken part in, and the final card was proclaimed appreciation for a specific person, a way of saying thank you.
Pledge cards and appreciation cards were read aloud to the auditorium by people wanting to share what they wrote on their cards.
by Elyssa Silverman '17
Students and faculty from Fontbonne Hall Academy gathered on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, to participate in the KIND Campaign, a nonprofit organization that targets and seeks to eliminate girl-against-girl bullying amongst children, adolescents, and adults. Fontbonne students watched the KIND documentary, “Finding Kind,” and engaged in numerous activities afterwards.
Each student was given a blue, purple, and pink card prior to the assembly. After watching the documentary, the students wrote a “KIND pledge” on their blue card. Some chose to share their pledge with the whole school. Next, the students used their purple cards to write apologies to people they have hurt in the past. Though the girls did not share these with the school, they were encouraged to hand them to the person for whom they were written.
Many girls stated that their favorite part of the day was sharing what was written on the pink cards. The students were told to write a “KIND card” message to another student on this card, with the option of reading it aloud. Dozens of students lined up to give shoutouts to their best friends, acquaintances, or even girls that they did not know and just wanted to compliment.
“I am never shy when it comes to speaking in front of crowds, so I just had fun with it,” said senior Jillian Corozzo. “I had a very influential encounter with Ariana DiDonato and I felt like she deserved proper recognition. I loved being a part of something that beautiful with such a thought provoking message.”
Participation in the KIND Campaign encouraged many Fontbonne students to begin reaching out to other students and even reconcile with those they have had conflict with.
The KIND Campaign was started by Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson, who came up with the idea while attending Pepperdine University in 2009. The mission state of the campaign is to “bring awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl ‘crime.’”