The Family Resource Centre will host the Stood Up Fair 2017 this month, which aims to present a united front against bullying in all its forms.

The fair will take place at the Arts and Recreation Centre in Camana Bay on Oct. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Children in two age brackets – ages 10-12 and 13-16 – will have the chance to showcase their creativity and ingenuity in bringing awareness to the social effects of bullying in school and beyond. Participants are encouraged to use a wide variety of mediums to convey their message, including but not limited to posters, display boards, sculptures, paintings, PowerPoint presentations, poems and photography.

Erin Hislop of the Family Resource Centre said the anti-bullying campaign has been going on for quite some time, but this is the first year that it is holding a fair as a focal point. The Family Resource Centre hopes to engage as many children as possible, and the event should take on the feel of a science fair, she said.

“Kids will get to come in and create a project, but instead of a science project, they’re completing an anti-bullying project,” said Ms. Hislop. “We’ve got ages 10-12 and 13-16 competing against each other, and they’re going to come up with a category that has an anti-bullying theme, and come up with a project that speaks to that theme. Maybe it’s identifying the different types of bullying or how to address bullying safely. We’ve got an option for them to come up with an anti-bullying policy for their school. It’s just trying to get kids thinking about how they can be a solution to this problem.”

The competition is open to students from any local school, and Ms. Hislop hopes the general community will come in and walk around and take a look at the different projects that are on display.

The Family Resource Centre hopes to get as many as 50 children involved in the project. All contestants must submit a project proposal by Oct. 16, and all submissions must contain inoffensive language and include positive and safe messages with a clear anti-bullying message. The 10-12 year-old age bracket must pick one of the following themes: Be A Buddy, Not A Bully; Bullyproof Your School; or The Bully Impact.

The 13-16 age bracket’s messages must address one of the following topics: Don’t be Mean Behind the Screen; Bullyproof Your School; or Don’t Bully, Be CaymanKind.

Ms. Hislop said that in the past, people have been excited about demonstrating against bullying.

“The anti-bullying campaign is definitely one of our more popular campaigns,” she said. “We really get a lot of community buy-in through participation in Pink Shirt Day. We have our pink shirts that say ‘Stood Up,’ which means ‘I Stood Up To Bullying’ in recognition of the campaign. … We’ve had a big increase in companies and schools organizing a dress-down day to wear those shirts. I know there’s awareness of the issue. There’s also still the prevalence of the issue, and people think it’s important to address.”

The project is sponsored by Dart, Hurley’s Media, Rotary Sunrise and local author Paul Schreiner, and it hopes to embolden students to find things in common and stand united against social cruelty.

“Paul Schreiner is a huge supporter of anti-bullying,” said Ms. Hislop. “And he’s donated the funds from the sale of his book, ‘Rudolph Discovers the Cayman Islands,’ to the Family Resource Centre in support of the anti-bullying campaign. We’re using his funds directly to fund the campaign.”

All students are free to register by sending an email to [email protected] or calling the Family Resource Centre at 949-0006.

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