Students create sidewalk art for Starside Elementary

Kelsea Burns, Co Editor-in-Chief

In honor of Anti-Bullying Week, De Soto High School’s CATPride student advocacy group visited Starside Elementary School to encourage positivity on Oct. 7.
Every year, CATPride sponsor Joe Kordalski and Starside counselor Paula Henderson organize activities for CATPride members to do for the elementary students. In the past the group has passed out friendship bracelets and create sidewalk art on the pavement outside of the school.
Kordalski believes that activities involving both high school and elementary school students are really important.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for our kids to kind of get out of our environment and really be a positive influence for younger kids,” Kordalski said. “They’re always very pleased to have us on their campus, and it’s kind of a great opportunity to make a connection with a group that’s very impressionable. Hearing anti-bullying messages from teachers is really positive but then seeing it in action with high school kids is a real plus.”
This year, the group will not be passing out the friendship bracelets like in the past, but it did create sidewalk art with chalk that portrayed positive messages or themes.
“We went to Starside to write positive messages on the sidewalk in front of the school, so that way the kids that were walking into the school would have a positive impact that would affect their whole day,” senior Tara Logan said.
Group members wrote words of encouragement and positive messages and drew pictures with sidewalk chalk.
“We wrote a lot of positive messages such as ‘Be kind’, ‘You’re beautiful’, ‘Be nice to everyone’ and just those kinds of things,” Logan said.
Senior Aubrey Heer also helped create the sidewalk art. Heer is a devoted advocate for bullying awareness.
“I like showing that words mean a lot,” Heer said. “I try to encourage people to do the right thing and stop bullying once and for all. It’s just cruel, and it’s not right. People do it because they want to have power, and it’s just stupid.”
Logan agrees with Heer and said that all members involved enjoyed raising awareness for Anti-Bullying Week.
“I think that everybody who was involved had a really good time doing it. We had a really good impact on the kids,” Logan said. “When the kids walked up to it, they really liked it. A lot of them were reading it as they were walking, and they just had big smiles on their faces.”
Heer agrees that it was effective.
“A lot of [the students] were trying to walk around it so they wouldn’t step on it,” Heer said. “They really liked the colors, and a few of them read it out loud.”
Kordalski enjoys having the group do activities for the elementary students.
“It’s really neat to see that they’re excited with that kind of simple gesture,” Kordalski said.