COLTON, Calif. — School district team members took to the streets last week to celebrate National Bullying Prevention Month and Unity Day in a positive way by hopping aboard the “Kindness Bus.”
The orange bus, painted with slogans and pictures depicting kindness, inclusion, and acceptance, cruised through communities served by the Colton Joint Unified School District (CJUSD) on Oct. 19, named Unity Day as part of National Bullying Prevention Month, to serve as a rolling billboard for the CJUSD Kindness Campaign. CJUSD is focusing on kindness in an effort to prevent bullying by reinforcing positive behaviors, as reflected in the district’s Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports framework. The bus will also visit other sites this week.
CJUSD team members clad in orange T-shirts rode the bus to various sites in the district to spread a message of positivity and kindness. The district's director of elementary curriculum, Dr. Syed Hyder, handed out kindness stickers to students on Unity Day. Many CJUSD schools participated in Unity Day “happiness sprinkling” events at the school sites as well.
“I applaud our CJUSD Transportation and Student Services Departments for bringing this unique and engaging program to our staff and students,” said CJUSD Superintendent Jerry Almendarez. “We know that wellness, including emotional wellness, is critical to student success now and into the future. We hope that fun and meaningful programs such as the Kindness Bus will leave a lasting positive impression with our students and encourage them to share kindness with others.”
The idea for the Kindness Bus came from Transportation Director Erick Richardson, who previously helped coordinate a similar program in another school district. In preparation for the day, students from all four CJUSD middle schools painted the bus orange, while students from the district’s five high schools decorated it with positive sayings and pictures. Students used safe, washable paint for the project, according to the district.