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Stoneleigh students unite to end bullying [Towson]

On Oct. 22, students at Stoneleigh Elementary School participated in Unity Day, a countywide, public school initiative meant to encourage students to unite in their efforts against bullying.

Students wore orange clothing in their pledge to come together in schools, communities, and even online. "[We want to] send one large orange message of support, hope and unity," said Mary Gardill, Stoneleigh's school counselor.

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Teachers were supplied with strips of orange paper so that students could write messages to the question, "What do you do to make Stoneleigh Elementary a welcoming place for your peers?"

Kelli Hickley, third-grade teacher at Stoneleigh, was thrilled with how students responded to the event.

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"One particular student in my class stated she welcomes peers at Stoneleigh by helping new students and playing with them," said Hickley.

At the end of the day, students created a paper chain throughout the school, uniting the classes together and linking their personal statements.

"Each class was really excited about creating their chains," said Hickley. "Students wrote positive messages and described ways they personally make Stoneleigh a welcoming community."

Hickley said the schoolwide involvement made a powerful statement that should last long after the end of Unity Day. "As I walked down the halls today, there was a sea of orange, even the kindergarten students were excited."

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All students throughout the county who participated in Unity Day should be proud of their efforts to promote wellness in their schools. Way to go, BCPS!

The Assistance Center of Towson Churches has announced its wish list for much-needed items in its effort to help Towson's needy. The center offers food and other necessary items, including socks and various personal hygiene products, to Towson citizens whenever they visit the center. Donations can be dropped off at the center, 120 W. Pennsylvania Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., Mon.-Fri. For a complete list of the items needed, go to actconline.info.

On Oct. 24, the Bykota Senior Center partnered with the West Towson Neighborhood Association for their annual Trunk or Treat event. Trunks were decorated in Bykota's parking lot, and hundreds of costumed children of all ages, accompanied by adults, walked through the adjoining park. The event included a costume parade, pizza and entertainment provided by Towson University's Filipino Cultural Association.

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