Call it what you want—it comes down to being nice! During the month of February, Rockford local businesses will be partnering with the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan (MHF) to spread the message of be nice. within the Rockford community. The be nice. campaign was initiated by the MHF in 2011 to create awareness surrounding the issues of bullying in schools, workplaces, and community-wide. Rockford community member, Kristen Bloem, became aware of the be nice. initiative when she attended an event for the Mental Health Foundation. Bloem states, “Just two simple words, I felt inspired to help and bring this Rockford.” With her help, Rockford businesses are jumping on the be nice. bandwagon by selling be nice. t-shirts, bumper stickers, and wristbands in their stores. First to jump on board are Kimberly’s Boutique and Aunt Candy’s Toy Company. All proceeds from be nice. merchandise sold by Rockford local businesses will go toward bringing the be nice. Campaign as well as the Live Laugh Love Mental Health Education Program to Rockford schools. Christy Buck, Executive Director, of the MHF started the Live Laugh Love Mental Health Education Program six years ago to combat the overwhelming statistic of high school students becoming victims of suicide in West Michigan. Buck reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death among high school students in Kent County. The Live Laugh Love curriculum is designed to educate adolescents about mental health illness, focusing on the themes of mental health stigma, the effects of bullying, recognizing signs of depression and anxiety, recognizing signs of suicide, and knowing how friends can help friends find help. Over the past six years the MHF has educated over 10,000 adolescents about mental health. In its newest endeavor, the MHF is bringing the community together to increase awareness of treating people with civility community-wide by partnering with Rockford, Grandville, Grand Rapids, and East Grand Rapids to proclaim February 24 as be nice. day. Be nice. is more than just saying “don’t bully,” it is a strengths-based perspective and a positive way to minimize bullying in our schools and communities. It is also a proactive way to encourage kindness among kids, parents, coworkers, and community members. By supporting the be nice. campaign, Rockford local businesses […]
Rockford Rotary Club and Rockford High School are proud to announce this year’s recipients of the STRIVE scholarship. Angelina Lipzinski and Alicia Walter are seen here with their mentors, Candy Lancioni and Pat Schaub. Rockford Rotary awarded each graduating senior with a $1,200 scholarship for their college. To date, 41 seniors have participated in STRIVE. This was the fifth year of the mentorship program. If you are interested in becoming a mentor to a high school senior next school year please contact Katy VanCuren at Rockford High School or Ramona Hinton at Young Insurance Agency.