MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –There was some extra orange around the Twin Cities Wednesday, and not just in the trees.
October 21 is Unity Day, a national effort to get kids to treat each other with kindness.
Unlike other efforts, Unity Day isn’t a traditional anti-bullying effort.
A lot of the messaging Wednesday is about being an “upstander.” Instead of telling kids not to bully they tell them to be an “upstander” and stand up for victims of bullying. The signature color is orange; it’s the color of the flags kids have been waving at Aquila Elementary in St. Louis Park.
Kindergarteners chanted Wednesday morning encouraging others to stand up when they see bullying and not just be a bystander. It’s an effort kids are pretty pumped about.
Another effort here seen at Aquila Elementary is called a buddy bench. Anyone who feels left out at recess can sit on it and other kids are supposed to keep an eye on the bench and join anyone whose left out.
Students shared their stories all day Wednesday about how they had become an upstander.
“An upstander is someone who stops bullying and who, if they see anyone who is lonely, try to play with them,” fourth grade student Landyn Tasto said.
“Being kind and taking bullying out of the equation, but standing up for kindness. Showing that being kind to one another and everyone around us is going to help the world and going to help our school community,” Clarence Pollock, of Aquila Elementary School, said.
Students are also getting incentives for being kind, everyone gets these bracelets and some of the kids earn those kinds was shirts.
For those that don’t have anything orange to wear, “official” Unity Day T-shirts are available for purchase. The money goes towards PACER’s bullying prevention programs.
While Unity Day is a great time to come together to rally around stopping bullying, it doesn’t stop there. The entire month of October is National Bullying Prevention Month.
For more information, visit the PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center online.