Monday, May 9, 2011

The Speech I Never Said, by Cari

Saturday May 7 was ABC's first Workshop. It was a wonderful event filled with like-minded people that recognize the effects of bullying and realize it's a problem. I felt so blessed to be surrounded by so many people who shared my passion. Friday night I typed up my "speech" portion and then of course, never even used it. When I talk about something that means so much to me, I have a hard time sticking to the script. So I thought I would share it here.

"Now to introduce myself, my name is Cari Adams and I moved to Michigan City in 2009. I am a mother of 3 children; Blythe, the one with the fabulous glasses, and Grace & John, who are twins. I go to school full-time at PNC and work part time at Merrion & Associates with my fiancĂ©, David, and his mother. I am a HUGE Ellen fan and believe we will one day be BFF’s.

Last fall there was a rash of bully-cides and they are a large part of why ABC is here today. I found myself crying in my office over the senseless deaths of these children who felt there was no way to escape the bullying they have had to endure other than to kill themselves. It made me want to make a difference and I started heavily researching bullying. I began formulating a letter to the local schools when I talked with my friend Timary about it. Timary is a teacher in Gobles, MI and she authorized through her principal to send me a Behavior Rubric they had recently implemented into their schools. It really felt like the missing piece to the puzzle. We’ll be talking about it later after lunch. I mailed the letter and packet of information to every principal, superintendent and school board president. I heard from one counselor since the 4 months of that letter, who felt as I did, that it could be a missing piece.

Knowing my passion against bullying, my dearest friend Candice connected me with two moms who were currently facing bullying issues in the school. That day I decided to start ABC but wasn’t sure what to call it. I tried thinking of some cute acronyms like MAB – Mothers Against Bullying but that was too narrow, too limiting. My fiancĂ©, David, came up with ABC and that night it was live and on FB. Candice was right along with me from the get-go and within a week we found and added Tanya, a fellow like-minded soul into ABC.

Since then we’ve had an overwhelming amount of local and beyond support and have been featured on the newspaper, radio, at the Samaritan Skedaddle and a Family Fun Fair in conjunction with PNC’s Education Dept. We feel incredibly blessed to have the outpouring of support as we truly believe that together we can end bullying.

ABC’s Goals are the following:
• End bullying in school
• Community involvement
• Strong Family Advocacy
• Build Awareness + Confidence
• Host Workshops – In Schools and the Community
• Coordinate “Positive Play Dates”, “Teen Time” & “Grown Up Get Togethers”
• Promote a well executed, universal anti-bullying action plan.
• Be the “What to do...?” Community Resource "

Thank you to everyone for your continued support. I will post within the next couple days about the workshop! It was a wonderful event and we are so blessed!

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