On the 20th of June we launched the “Kindness is for Free” campaign
at Darlington Public School. This is an innovative anti-racism and
anti-bullying initiative directed at school-age children. The kids were
super excited to see The Wong Side of Puppets set up and then to see
them in action on the big screen. They had their mouths open in awe.
Together we discussed the meaning of racism and bullying and made
popsicle puppets to do some role playing. In the music video Lin
Wong showed that she was very sad and upset but in our plays we
made Lin not act like a victim but instead be strong and brave.
We also did role playing about what to do if we saw a friend being a victim of
racism or bullying.
In one scene, where it felt safe, a child said, “Leave Lin alone! Lin come
and play with me and my friends.” In another scene, the child called
upon a teacher and the teacher pulled the bullies and racists aside and asked
them, “Would you like it if I behaved like this towards you? They both said no
and then the teacher encouraged them to make Lin an apology card.
One of the tools conveyed was to teach the kids that if they are by themselves
and experiencing bullying or racism at school, they can retaliate with a simple
“be strong and stay super” pose and then bravely walk away and find kind
people to play or be friends with.
The children loved doing this pose. One child said, “I feel like
a super hero doing this!” Another kid said, “I feel so much stronger and
During our discussion a little boy said, “Bullies and racists are not happy
people and they just want to make others sad like them!”
One girl said, “The big cross we’re making with our arms is like a big NO
to racism and bullying!”
I hope that this will one day be the universal gesture against racism and
It was a great launch, and so satisfying to see the children empowered by the
activities we did together. I had prizes to give away to the best listeners,
performers and those who behaved kindly towards each another during the
activities, thanks to our sponsor Bendigo Bank.
“Good for teaching children how to deal with bullying, racism and being
resilient!” said Mr Askew (K-2 teacher).
It has been a great start to get the message out into the community. Together
we can put a stop to racism and bullying!
Hashtag: It stops with me! #ItStopsWithMe
Jeremy Fernandez (A.B.C.) “Well Done. Good on you for your
enthusiasm. It’ll pay pay forward in multiples when these
kids grow up.”
Melissa Hoyer (S.M.H.) “I’m with you all the way!”
Check out the Wong Side of Life’s anti-bullying / anti-racism music video
“Don’t be a Loser.”
You can purchase a DVD, lesson plan and template of the Popsicle puppets
for only $55 (includes) directly from Joy.
Joy Hopwood is available to to do 40 minute in-class workshops or 20 minute
motivational speeches especially for kids.
For more info contact Joy here