The Riverside Medical Clinic Charitable Foundation’s Anti-Bullying Institute selected Sunnymead Middle School’s Kindness Club as the recipient of the 2022 Student Club of the Year Award.
The club will receive its award at the Anti-Bullying Institute’s Annual Fundraiser event on Thursday, August 18, 2022, at the California State Citrus Park in Riverside, California.
The Anti-Bullying Institute was developed in 2014 to offer hands-on programs and resources designed to empower schools, students and parents to effectively address bullying. According to Stop Bullying, a government site that provides educational resources about bullying, an estimated 20% of students ages 12 to 18 experienced bullying nationwide.
The Student Club of the Year Award is a subcategory of the institute’s annual HERO Awards which recognizes a local individual, school or community group in Riverside County that has “shown exceptional efforts in being kind, inclusive, and aiding to end bullying in their school, place of work, and/or community.” The HERO Program is a bullying prevention program that strengthens measures schools are providing on their campuses. It’s goal is to assist schools in reducing bullying and spreading kindness.
“The students and club advisors continuously go above and beyond to create a welcoming and supportive culture through selfless acts of kindness,” said Sunnymead Middle School Principal Matthew Stewart in a statement. “The thoughtful planning and support provided to our students, staff and community is a wonderful example that we should all strive to imitate.”
The Kindness Club at Sunnymead Middle School was created in 2019 with a goal of fostering a sense of unity and a positive learning environment for all students by demonstrating random acts of kindness. Club members have organized Random Acts of Kindness week and hosted a wellness goods drive for the Moreno Valley Unified School District’s (MVUSD) Wellness Center.
“We are so proud of the students and staff at Sunnymead Middle School,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Martinrex Kedziora stated. “Although there were challenges coming back to school from distance learning, it did not stop our students from persevering. They followed our district’s HeartsYOUnited campaign goal of spreading kindness and compassion, going above and beyond by creating a club.”
In 2021, another MVUSD school, Canyon Springs High School, received a HERO award for Peer Club of the Year for its excellence in encouraging positivity and anti-bullying awareness on campus.
“Not too long ago, one of our high schools received this award too. Earning this award at another school is a huge accomplishment,” Board of Education President Cleveland Johnson said. “This demonstrates the power of collaboration from students and staff at different schools. They learn from each other and replicate practices that are truly making a difference in our schools and community.”