Stories of Optimism

Optimists Promote Anti-Bullying Message
April 3, 2013

Optimists in the Michigan District are determined to spread the word that bullying is unacceptable. The Metro Riverfront Optimist Club, Loving Community Optimist Club and the WSU Warriors Optimist Club of Wayne State University held a Back to School Anti-Bullying Birthday Party for twenty clients of the Children’s Center of Detroit.

The Children’s Center is one of the largest, most diverse child and family service agencies in Michigan. The center provides specialized therapeutic programs for at-risk children and youth.

This event was sponsored in part by an Optimist International Foundation grant awarded to the Metro Riverfront Optimist Club.

The children participated in Let’s Move exercises directed by Marietta Franklin, an instructor at the Detroit, Michigan Downtown YMCA and Member of Metro Riverfront Club. The Let’s Move initiative, developed by First Lady Michelle Obama, is dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.

The next activity allowed the young people to work with their parents to make anti-bullying puppets and backpack friends. Metro Riverfront Member, Lona Burch, her Toward the Mark Puppet Team and volunteers were on hand to provide assistance.

One student initially seemed disappointed with the idea of doing an arts and crafts project. When he heard he was going to be making a puppet, his face lit up and he hurried to a table to get started.

Once the students finished making their own puppets, they enjoyed an Ugly Duckling themed puppet show that carried out the anti-bullying theme. The story stressed the important of self-esteem and respect. Children were asked to hold up cue cards so that everyone present could participate with the correct quack, cry, woof or meow when needed during the show.

Attendees enjoyed a meal of pizza and chips. Each child was given an Optimist International sports bag with anti-bullying bookmarks and a treat bag. Prizes of school supplies were also awarded.

The participating Members felt the day’s activities reflected a tenet of the Optimist Creed: To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.”


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