In an effort to teach children to be kind to one another and reject bullying behavior, Vista Ridge Mall launches Malls & Retailers United Against Bullying on October 25 beginning at 11 a.m. The free event is presented in association with National Bullying Prevention month and sponsored by Captain McFinn and Friends.
Malls & Retailers United Against Bullying is an extension of an ongoing program that is based on the lessons of Captain McFinn and Friends. The Captain McFinn stories revolve around the underwater inhabitants of the fictional world of Sandy Dusty Reef. Captain McFinn, the hero of the series, is a black-tipped reef shark that used to be a bully. He has transformed into a friend and protector through the example of others. The stories teach powerful lessons about kindness, loyalty, honesty, empathy and care for one another.
A variety of activities are planned for the event, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Center Court at the shopping center. Guests can enjoy:
- Walking in a Friendship March that begins at 1 p.m. in Center Court. Lead by Captain McFinn, guests will parade through the mall, displaying anti-bullying posters and encouraging shoppers to reject bullying behavior.
- Signing Captain McFinn’s anti-bullying pledge with friends.
- Making a poster to display during the march and take home.
- Creating fun crafts to take home.
- Getting their faces painted.
- Having a picture taken with Captain McFinn.
Adding to the afternoon’s festivities a DJ will be on hand to invite guests to join in and dance.
“Vista Ridge Mall is participating in Bullying Prevention month to bring our community together and educate children and adults about how bully affects everyone. The shopping center is a natural gathering place, a social hub for the community. With hundreds of people coming through our doors every day, we believe we can make a difference by taking time to support this cause with Malls & Retailers United Against Bullying.” says Leanne Lowry, general manager for the shopping center. “We hope that kids and parents will join us. Groups, too, including girl and boy scout troops, school booster teams, parent organizations and all individuals and groups who value sportsmanship and honor. Everyone, come sign the anti-bullying pledge and join us in taking a stand against bullying.”
Studies show that bullying causes serious social and emotional problems for children, including, depression, low self-esteem and anxiety. Without intervention, bullies also suffer. As adults, bullies commit more crimes, use more mental health services and have a higher risk of alcoholism. Recent high-profile bully cases resulting in suicides have prompted schools to adopt stronger anti-bullying policies. Still, many situations go unnoticed, falling between the cracks of the most well-meaning programs.
- It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack of intimidation by other students.
- One in seven students in grades kindergarten through 12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.
- Fifty-six percent of all students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school.
- Bullying can take many forms, but it usually includes the following types of behavior: physical – hitting and pushing; verbal – slurs and put downs; indirect – spreading rumors and exclusion; and cyber – harassment via texting or the internet.
Vista Ridge Mall features over 130 specialty shops and eateries including Dillard's, JCPenney, Macy's, Sears and Cinemark. The shopping center is conveniently located at I-35E and the Sam Rayburn Tollway in Lewisville, Texas. Follow Vista Ridge Mall at www.facebook.com/VistaRidgeMall or on twitter at @vistaridgemall. For information, visit www.vistaridgemall.com or call (972) 315-3641.