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New anti-bullying campaign beginning in AISD schools

About a dozen AISD schools will implement a new anti-bullying program starting this year. The program called “The Kindness Campaign” aims to spread kindness among students (Photo: Public Domain Images / MGN )

Approximately 70 AISD schools will implement a new anti-bullying program starting this year.

The program called “The Kindness Campaign” piloted in two private schools last school year.

As the name says, the program’s main message is spreading kindness. Instead of focusing on teens in high school, it's geared instead for young children grades Pre-K to fifth grade.

Founder Andra Liemandt came up with the idea after a devastating loss. "A dear friend of mine, her daughter, committed suicide," said Liemandt."It was heartbreaking and it was something that was very disturbing to me."

When Liemandt realized that bullying was an epidemic in the U.S., she knew she had to do something. “The Kindness Campaign” was born.

Liemandt said the program is about, "teaching them how to be kind first to themselves."

The program comes with a tool-kit for each student. It includes books, coloring books, journals and a stuffed mascot, depending on the student’s grade.

The program will also feature an interactive ‘magic mirror.’

Students stand in front of the mirror and tell it how their feeling. The mirror than gives them a positive personal message.

The mirror ends the conversation by telling students, “You are enough.” It is a slogan for the campaign.

"I've seen so many children go on a journey that is life changing," said Andra.

Lori Hobbie, director of community outreach for the kindness campaign, said AISD already has a great social, emotional development curriculum. She is hoping the new program will help supplement the current program.

Hobbie says starting the program with youngsters helps them learn that kindness is expected and normal. “Communities of kindness is just the norm, not the exception,” said Hobbie.

The “The Kindness Campaign” and associated materials are also available in Spanish.

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