The Union teamed up with Allstate for a Kick Bullying Challenge week, where the two organizations aim to help educate on inclusion and rid communities of bullying.
Tuesday, the Union traveled out to Camden to Veterans Memorial School, where they held an anti-bullying seminar for more than 100 students.
The Union and Allstate had Paul Merklein lead the seminar, using drawing as a way to promote inclusion. Merklein drew characters such as Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Charlie Brown as a super hero, and in-between drawings, sprinkled in anti-bullying messages. Using the super hero mantra, Merklein taught the kids the only thing you need to do to be a super hero is to be a super friend.
"I was showing the students how you can be a super hero by being a super friend," Merklein said. "You don't tease, you don't make fun of, you don't bully other people that you meet. I had a great time today."
After the assembly, the students participated in the poster design contest, where one poster will be selected as the leading image for the 2018 campaign.
Danette Sapowsky, principal of Veterans Memorial School, said the assembly was especially important because it continues the programs of inclusion the school has not just in October, but throughout the school year.
"We work really hard with the students students to build our vision, which is a brave community," Sapowsky said. "We want our children to know that's the value we embrace here, being kind to others, respectful. The students were really excited. I think Paul did an excellent job today and he made it fun. I think that will stick with the students."
For the Union, it just continues the organization's efforts to promote inclusion throughout the Philadelphia communities.
"We just want to get out in the communities and touch as many people as possible, showcasing what it takes to be a good friend," said Casey Cardillo, Director of Partnership Marketing for the Union. "Seeing how excited these kids were and how they really took what Paul said and wanted to make a difference themselves, it was really exciting."