Sara is a second-year member of the Lone Star Leadership Council, a statewide group in which young people create service projects in their individual communities.
This year, Sara’s project focused on taking a stand against bullying, specifically by launching a National No Name Calling Week campaign at Moreno.
By selling bracelets students could wear in support of the week (which Sara made from black ribbon with white polka dots), Sara raised money to buy anti-bullying books for the school library, such as the Misfits and the Outsiders books.
Sara said she was inspired to focus on bullying this year because it is a problem that has received so much national attention. The eighth-grader said she sees the nationwide problem at MMS.
“Bullying is big here and at the high school,” Sara said.
“It’s mostly kids making fun of people,” she continued. “Then someone else will say something, and everyone laughs.”
Sara added that she thinks cyber bullying is also a big problem.
“Cyber bullying is really big now, and it’s gotten worse with Facebook and MySpace,” she said.
The severity of the growing national problem led Sara to her project.
“Bullying is all over the news, it’s a big thing, and kids are committing suicide,” she said. “People need to know they can get charged (for bullying).”
Sara said she has seen a change in her school since she began the project.
“It’s been a big thing, even after No Name Calling Week,” said the eighth-grader. “Everyone liked the posters, and I sold stickers. Everyone wanted a sticker.”
The popular stickers read “No sticks, no stones, no name calling.”
“Everyone really got into it. It was really cool,” Sara said.
Sara was nominated to join the Lone Star Leadership Council after attending a summer camp after her sixth-grade year. The council members focus on their local service projects, but they also have opportunities to go to conventions, banquets, camps and even national events.
Last year, Sara’s project was “Coats for Kids,” a program where she gathered new and gently used coats to donate to the Beeville Vineyard.
After their service projects are finished, the Lone Star president recognizes some outstanding projects. This year, one of those was Sara’s.
“We have to make a scrapbook-type thing about our project and send it to the president,” Sara said. “She recognizes some that are really good, that make a difference in the community.”
Even with her Lone Star commitments, Sara stays busy at school. The eighth-grader is a member of Student Council, National Junior Honor Society and Family and Consumer Science Club (FACS).
Sara said she plans to continue her Lone Star involvement when she enters high school next year. She has not yet decided what her next project will be.
Sarah Taylor is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or sarah@mySouTex.com.