Colonial Elementary School (CES) marked their first anniversary as a No Place For Hate school with an assembly about respecting differences and being kind.
Emceed by teachers Mr. Brooks and Mr. Freebairn, the event had a variety of ways to get the fourth and fifth graders involved and talking about what makes them unique and what it means to be kind. One activity involved volleying beach balls until the music stopped and inviting the children who had the ball at the end on stage.
"My favorite part about the assembly was when we had beach balls, and everybody wanted to be part of it," said CES Fifth Grader Blake Ambler, one of the schools No Place For Hate Ambassadors. "That made me think that everybody really wanted to show the rest of the school that they wanted to be kind."
The presentation also included anti-bullying messages, a celebration of diversity and a visit from members of the Plymouth Whitemarsh High School's No Place For Hate club.
"It's exciting to be here and see all of the younger kids and how enthusiastic they are about being a No Place For Hate school," said PWHS Sophomore Nivai Martin. "They're just so excited to choose love over hate."
Leading up to the event, the school participated in an activity inspired by the District-wide school climate program called Rachel's Challenge. Each student wrote about a kind action they did or was done to them to make a link in a paper chain that represented a "chain reaction of kindness and compassion" that decorated the front of the auditorium.
"First, they made a class chain, and then those chains fit together to make a school chain," said CES Fifth Grade and No Place For Hate Ambassador Brandon Wooldridge. "It fits in with No Place For Hate and being kind."
To be a certified as a No Place For Hate school, Colonial Elementary will be holding several activities throughout the year to reinforce lessons of kindness, compassion and anti-bullying, led in part by their six No Place For Hate Ambassadors.
"As the ambassadors, we all are trying to influence everyone to respect everyone else equally as their peers," said CES Fifth Grader Emma Podulka. "I think having an impact on everyone is really cool, because it's making a difference."
The district-wide Rachel's Challenge initiative was funded by the Colonial School District Education Foundation.