Sunday, July 18, 2021

Kid Speaker From The UK Shares His #ChooseKind Message With Skokie Students

Nicholas is a fine example of someone dedicating his life to make the world a kinder place. And when we say world, we mean it. Nicholas, born with congenital melanocytic nevus, lives in the United Kingdom and recently spoke to students at MCC Academy all the way in Skokie, Illinois after they read R.J. Palacio's novel "Wonder," about Auggie Pullman, a student who faces going to middle school after years of homeschooling.

Nik shared his life story about being born with a facial difference and how he embraces

kindness towards others. He encourages the students in his audience to do the same. As a member of CCA's speaker's bureau, he suggested ways to combat bullying and how he envisions a more inclusive world. A true renaissance man, Nik wanted to share his artwork with the class, but time did not permit. The artwork is a huge part of his message and advocacy raising. Images of his artwork are sprinkled throughout this blog post.

MCC Academy fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Rahman commented, "Nik was a wonderful and inspirational speaker. It was a pleasure to have him in class today. He did a wonderful job in sharing his personal story that tied with the novel "Wonder" we read in class. Nik beautifully shared a message with the class that they need to embrace everyone's differences and be kind."

Melanie Andrews, Nik's mother shared that the class of MCC Academy fifth graders were equally as kind and respectful, ""Nik had said that he felt so happy to answer such educated questions and they were asked so respectfully. Wow what a school. A role model school for us all."

Thanks to past opportunities to share his story and works of art, Nik won the Diana Award, given by the Princess Diana Award charity for acts of anti-bullying, and inclusion for all people in the United Kingdom. Nik advocates for people born with facial differences like himself. Nik was born with a a large congenital melanocytic nevus. His card initiative started with him taking his artworks and placing them on postcards for distribution to "to the public to advocate for kindness and equality. Nicholas considers Princess Diana his role model and lives by her quote ‘do what your heart tells you.’ His heart has encouraged him to spread the message, ‘even if you look different you should be proud of who you are,' says the Diana Award website.
Some of Nik's Artwork
Inspired by characters
from R.J.Palacio's "Wonder"

Thank you MCC Academy in Skokie, IL for choosing kind. Many thanks to Nik for continuing to spread this important message. Clearly a fun and informative time was had by all on this Friday in the first week of June as Nik bridged the gap across the pond!

Learn more about CCA's speaker's bureau program, or request a speaker for your school through our #ChooseKind Initiative on our website at.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Two Northeast Tweens Tackle Tough Topics

During the spring, our friends stood up and stood out for causes that were close to their hearts. Madisyn Bowers took to the local news media, while Nova Cox was interviewed by Expeditionary Learning magazine. Let's read a bit more about these two shining stars and their causes. 

Western Pennsylvania native, Madisyn Bowers shared her courageous journey with local news station, KDKA. Madisyn wore the rigid external distractor (RED) device on camera while she enjoyed her moment in the sun with her Mom, Lisa, who explained more about Madisyn's condition and their crusade for kindness. Her guinea pigs made an appearance, too. Nana, Nancy was there to support Madisyn, too. Watch the KDKA news segment on the KDKA website

Western Massachusetts native, Nova Cox, shared their experience at school being a member of their school's
"Queer Club" as they put it. The Springfield Renaissance School rising seventh grader shared that the Gender and Sexuality Alliance was a place that he "can show my queer identity at school, bond with friends, and share stories and feelings with other kids. We meet once or twice a month; sometimes we talk about serious issues in the queer community and other times we just joke around." Nova and their Mom, Liz, also shared about the importance of pronouns and inclusion of diverse sexual identities in school's curriculum. Nova makes sure these things are part of conversations as a member of the EL Education Student Advisory Council. You can read the full article here on the Expeditionary Learning website.

CCA is very proud of both Madisyn and Nova for being upstanders in our CCA community and beyond. Keep up the great work.