CatPRIDE members ‘Chalk the Walk’ at Starside

Starside students walk into school over the CatPRIDE members sidewalk chalk artwork for Peace Week. CatPRIDE students who volunteered included seniors Emma Bascom, Jackie Kennard and Kirstin Cuba, junior Sam McGuire and freshman Issa Sullivan.

Emma Bascom

Starside students walk into school over the CatPRIDE members’ sidewalk chalk artwork for Peace Week. CatPRIDE students who volunteered included seniors Emma Bascom, Jackie Kennard and Kirstin Cuba, junior Sam McGuire and freshman Issa Sullivan.

Sydney Hoover, Editor-in-Chief

Several CatPRIDE members along with the help of De Soto High School social worker Joe Kordalski were able to go to Starside Elementary school to ‘chalk the walk’ on Oct. 3. The students used chalk to decorate the front walkway to the entrance of the school with positive messages and fun pictures. This was to kick off SE’s annual Peace Week.

Peace Week is a district wide event for the elementary schools, and is a combination of what used to be Anti-Bullying Week and Drug Awareness Week. Each day is filled with various themes and events, such signing an anti-bullying pledge card and receiving a red ribbon.

“[This is] probably the fourth year we’ve done Chalk the Walk in collaboration with Starside. It’s just a great way to start off the week for their students, and it’s just a really nice visual of … all kinds of positive messages to get your day started,” Kordalski said.

According to CatPRIDE president senior Jackie Kennard, the SE students were very excited about the artwork the DHS students had left in front of their school.

“There were a lot of loud gasps and they were pointing out … and talking about what they saw. I think they really liked it,” Kennard said. “They all had similar reactions. I think that kind of brought them together in a way.”

Kordalski agreed that the SE students seemed to appreciate the CatPRIDE members’ hard work and felt it was a great start to a week dedicated to bullying awareness.

“It was cute because a lot of kids didn’t want to step on it. So, they were trying to avoid it,” Kordalski said. “Then other kids were just blatantly walking all over it, which is fine, too.”

Kennard has had the opportunity to be a lunch monitor at SE during her teacher’s aide period, and feels that Peace Week is a great addition to their curriculum.

“All the kids are always so nice to each other, and there’s not a lot of conflict that I see. I think this week, this Peace Week, only encourages that, yes, being friends is good and what you’re doing is good,” Kennard said.

Overall, CatPRIDE members agreed that Chalk the Walk was a great, positive way to start off the day for both themselves and the elementary students, and brings a unity between both the varying age groups and the district as a whole to spread an awareness of bullying.

“I feel like it starts in the elementary schools, teaching kids respect and the importance of supporting each other. That’s kind of where that’s hardwired, and what to do if there is conflict. Kids obviously need direction on how to solve that kind of stuff. Peace Week is a way of sharing that message out in a friendly way,” Kordalski said. “It’s just a great first way to start your day. Be cool, be supportive, be respectful. Starting your day in a positive way is kind of the purpose.”