By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – The kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Cornwall/SDG have a story to tell.
Nearly 70 local young authors have penned and illustrated the third instalment of an ongoing ‘Doing the Write Thing’ series of anti-bullying books.
Belonging-Appartenance, a collection of eight short stories, was recently launched at the BGC 506 Clubhouse.
“If kids are being bullied, they’ll know how to deal with it better,“ said contributing author Malika Marleau, 12.
BGC senior staff member Trevor Smith said the creative process helps kids twofold: the first is openly talking about bullying, which he claims is a greater problem these days than ever before. The second: being able to create.
“It’s special for them because they actually get to see a finished product,” Smith added.
He noted that seven of BGC’s eight after school program sites contributed one short story each, and the Francophone location submitted two.
Another young scribe, Benjamin Weight, 11, considers the book a must-read for an unlikely audience.
“If bullies check it out they might realize they’re hurting other people’s feelings,” said Weight.
The book sells for $10 and can be purchased at the BGC clubhouse on First Street East.
Former Cornwall principal and local theatre veteran Bill Roddy gave a special reading at the book launch event.
“This project goes along with our ‘Pink Shirt’ Day anti-bullying fundraiser and movement on February 25,” said Smith.
Shirts in all sizes are $10 and are for sale at Scotiabank and Baxtrom’s YIG.
In 2014, the non-profit agency served over 1,600 youth in Cornwall and SDG.
Currently, there are 400 children in BGC after school programs, which are run at eight different locations. There are also two teen programs that serve hundreds of youth.