Just in time for the start of school, parents and students enjoyed a hot, but beautiful, day, eating hot dogs and staying cool on a waterslide at the 17th Annual Gardere Initiative Back-to-School Extravaganza, held Aug. 5, at the BREC’s Hartley/Vey Park.
CAHS joined forces with Lion’s Club International Foundation to raise awareness about bullying through the “Choose Kindness Project,” an initiative dedicated to inspire a more inclusive world where all young people feel empowered to be themselves and safe to create the futures they imagine.
Students had a chance to share their personal experiences with bullying and discuss the importance of choosing kindness when it matters the most. Literature and promotional items, featuring the “Choose Kindness” bullying prevention campaign along with tips for teens on coping skills, were available in both English and Spanish. Over 300 children and adults attended this year’s event, and CAHS’ prevention messages were well received.
“I’ve seen my friends get bullied at school, so I make it a point to be extra kind to them because I would want someone to be kind to me,” said one youth who visited the CAHS booth.
In addition to CAHS, many other vendors attended and provided information about their services, including Safe Link, Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge, Red Cross, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, BREC, Baton Rouge Police Department, City Year Baton Rouge, St. George Fire Department, and the Southern University Agricultural Center.
Special thanks to CAHS Executive Director Dr. Jan Laughinghouse; CAHS’ Prevention Team members Latraiel Courtney, Bridget Lewis and Yolanda Yancy; and CAHS’ Communications Team member Tembi Muna.