Lockhart Elementary School was honored by Students Against Violence Everywhere, being named as one of the chapters of the year by the national organization.
The St. Thomas school was one of two chapters to be cited, sharing "chapter of the year" honors with Cuthbertson High School in Waxhaw, N.C.
According to the announcement on SAVE’s website, Lockhart students have adopted the novel approach of promoting peace and discouraging bullying through performance.
"Their outstanding dedication to SAVE and their community has been remarkable this year!" the announcement said.
"These students presented their version of ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends’ at a community rally with over 700 attendees. Each month they create and present a message to share with their student body, reminding students to strive for peace and unity."
The organization’s statement continued, "They were active during No-Name-Calling Week and Random Acts of Kindness Week.”
"Utilizing performing arts, they sing, dance, role play, chant, and recite poetry that focuses on peace and nonviolence."
The approach has been successful, according to the local group’s advisor, JoAnne Saunders.
“Students who once could not get along together now come to the club as hand-holding friends, bringing new members with them every day,” she said.
The group stages monthly rallies, during which students perform songs, dances and skits conveying anti-bullying messages. They are active with social media, posting their messages and presentations to share with the world.
SAVE also named a student and advisor of the year at its summit, which was held March 21 at the McKimmon Center at N.C. State University in Raleigh. More than 300 people attended.
More information about SAVE, including how to start a chapter, is online at www.nationalsave.org.