A grade seven student at Port Elgin Regional School, 12 year-old
Kaylee Butcher was recently awarded a Caring Kids award in the 'See It,
Stop It: Caring Kids' Canada-wide initiative sponsored by Panago Pizza
Inc. Shown here are Butcher, with Joe Sivitilli, franchisee owner in
Moncton and Fredericton, who presented her with the certificate and
special pin at a special assembly held at the school last week. Butcher
also won a pizza party for her entire class and fellow school 'If it
hurts, it's wrong' (anti-bullying) committee members. (Photo submitted)
PORT ELGIN, NB – Being kind, caring, friendly and just an all-round good person comes naturally to one Port Elgin Regional School student. Last week she was honoured for her many contributions to her school and to promoting a pleasant atmosphere there.
During a special school assembly held last week at PERS, Kaylee Butcher, a 12 year-old, grade seven student was presented with the Caring Kids award sponsored by Panago Pizza Inc.
Panago partners with Bullying.org to recognize young people who have taken a stand against bullying.
Joe Sivitilli, Panago franchisee owner in Moncton and Fredericton, said Monday that the award celebrates kids up to 18 years of age who show leadership and play a role in preventing bullying and making their communities more respectful, inclusive and caring places.
“This is the second year that the head office (located in Abbotsford, B.C.) put it across the entire chain of about 190 stores…bullying is something that the company takes very, very seriously so they’ve partnered with Bullying.org to recognize the positive aspects of anti-bullying. Too often we talk about the negatives…but we don’t necessarily talk about those kids who actually do those acts of kindness, we don’t recognize those students who make a difference,” Sivitilli said.
The ‘See It, Stop It: Caring Kids’ awards initiative was launched in conjunction with anti-bullying week in November, with the winners of the country-wide competition being announced recently.
Sivitilli noted that thousands of children were nominated across Canada, each of whom received a certificate and special Caring Kids awards pin. The nominations were judged by a selection committee at Panago's head office. Only 10 youths from across Canada – five of whom live in New Brunswick – were awarded a certificate and pin as well as a pizza party for their classroom and/or anti-bullying organization.
During the school assembly last week Sivitilli told the students from grades Kindergarten through grade eight that the award recognizes not only Kaylee’s positive contributions to her school, but also the contributions of others as well.
“We’re recognizing Kaylee, but it also is putting Port Elgin Regional School on the map because it’s not just one child, it’s a combination of the student body and the teachers and the parents. It all starts somewhere, and this young lady obviously had the values and characteristics of making a difference…she displayed these values over the years. And it’s not just her, but all of the students on the ‘If it hurts it’s wrong’ committee were included in the pizza party because they all contribute to making sure that bad things don’t start in their school,” he said.
Sivitilli said the message is, whether you win a pizza party or not, it’s those little acts of kindness every day that can make a difference to someone.
“I challenged everyone that I’d love to be back there at Port Elgin Regional School next year recognizing someone else. It’s just that, everyone might be having a bad day but it’s always nice to smile and make sure that someone else next to you is feeling that smile,” he said.
Kaylee’s home room teacher Catherine Glencross said last week that Kaylee was nominated by another PERS teacher Sylvie Thebeau, and for good reason.
“When we think of anybody in our school who is the most caring person, who stands up for people’s rights, makes people feel welcome, reaches out and sees the best in a bad situation, who will always look for the brighter side of things – it’s Kaylee. She’s involved with anything that’s going on, the leadership committee, the school Christmas sale – she takes an interest in just about everything; she’s a great role model, a really sweet girl,” she said.
Glencross said that because all of the students and teachers, Kaylee included, did not know who was the winner of the award prior to the school assembly, it was a bit of challenge to get the whole school gathered together in the gymnasium without spilling the beans.
“No one knew who the winner was, but as we talked about the award you could hear other people – the kids and other teachers as well – say ‘it’s got to be Kaylee’. And when we announced her name there was this big burst of applause. The look on Kaylee’s face was priceless; she had no idea it was her,” she said.
Kaylee’s parents Shella and Gordie Butcher had been notified previously and were also on hand to see their daughter be presented with the award.
Glencross noted that there are a lot of conscientious students at PERS, many of whom are members of the ‘If it hurts, it’s wrong’ committee.
“We try to promote the good things; we like to focus on people doing the right things, being supportive and friendly with others. There are lot of really good students in our school, and Kaylee is one of them," she said.