By Sandra Emerson, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
UPLAND>> When Lizzie Sider was in elementary school, her classmates would tease her, call her names and exclude her from playing with them.
Now, at only 15 years old, she is devoting her life to help kids who are victims of bullying and letting them know “no one has the power to ruin your day” – an inspiring message passed down to her from her father after a rough day at school.
Sider, a country singer from south Florida, is in the midst of a two-month bullying prevention tour of California schools, visiting 80 schools to perform and talk to students about bullying.
Sider performed at six of Upland’s elementary schools Thursday and Friday, performing her song “Butterfly,” which she co-wrote about her experiences being bullied.
“My experience with bullying when I was in elementary school is what inspired me to want to help others,” said Sider, who is spending her sophomore year in high school being home-schooled so she can tour.
First- through sixth-graders at Cabrillo Elementary School on Friday, her last performance, filled the multi-purpose room not only physically, but with their shouts of joy at having Sider there to perform for them.
Sider, who has become a spokeswoman for Pacer Center’s Teens Against Bullying, talked with the students about being bullied, why bullies bully and how to not let their hurtful words bring them down.
The students sang along and participated in the discussion about bullying, bringing tears to the eyes of school district officials.
Second-grader Joseph Gaytan walked up on stage after her performance and handed Sider a pink rose as a thank-you for her visit. Another student gave her a necklace that read “Fear not. Without change there would be no butterflies.”
“I think it’s admirable she is taking the time out of her personal life to deliver her message and share her personal story,” said Alison Benson, principal at Cabrillo.
Teachers at Cabrillo teach the students about good character traits and encourage them to treat others the way they want to be treated.
For more information about Sider’s music and activism against bullying visit her website at lizziesider.com
Hey guys – to see some great pics from this day, GO HERE: