Wayne Soares, master storyteller, actor, author and former broadcaster for ESPN Radio spoke to Chapin Street School third graders on Wednesday, October 5th. Soares explained that he represents the Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Jason Varitek's PITCHING IN FOR KIDS FOUNDATION by travelling to several schools throughout New England, as part of an anti bullying campaign.
Soares explained that the theme of this tour is Be Kind Always. I’ve Got Your Back. “We are trying to not only make an awareness of bullying but to give kids the correct tools and message that they can help stop it,” explained Soares, “because if you just sit back and watch someone else being bullied you are just as guilty as the bully. I want to get kids to step up in a leadership role and understand the power of your words and actions.”
As students entered the gymnasium Soares and Chapin Street Principal, Mrs Nikki Reed, enthusiastically welcomed them with high fives and smiles. Students quickly settled in as Soares engaged them in personal stories to highlight his message of Be Kind Always.
During the presentation Soares asked for a student volunteer to assist him in demonstrating how changing your words (what and how you say something) can transform a negative comment to a positive. Andrew Ray quickly raised his hand and excitedly joined Soares to help with his demonstration; receiving a Bullying is NOT Cool t-shirt from Soares, for his help.
Soares ended his presentation with a question and answer forum that sparked conversations about how students can be leaders in the fight against bullying. "When you have a chance to be kind, grab it. You can be the person to do something kind for others."
Before leaving he took time to answer individual student questions, challenged the students to take the Be Kind Always pledge, and took a group photo with several students surrounding his Pitching in for Kids banner (see video and photo below).
“His presentation resonated with our students; they were engaged and listening to his every word,” said Reed. “The stories he shared had the perfect balance of laughter and seriousness to keep their attention, and also focus on his message to Be Kind Always. It was timely and important for our students to hear his message.”
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