HESPERIA • The mood was electric inside the cafeteria of Topaz Preparatory Academy as country singer Lizzie Sider brought her Bully Prevention Assembly Tour to the High Desert.
The 15-year-old Sider moved through a sea of more than 1,600 raised hands, giving high-fives along the way, never missing a note as she sang.
Sider’s Wednesday morning stop at the K-8 school in Hesperia was part of an 80-school, statewide tour, where the young Florida native shared her painful experience of how she was teased by her peers and overcame bullying.
“Raise your hands if you’ve ever been teased, or been called a name,” asked Sider, as the majority of children and adults lifted their hands. “My dad once told me that nobody has the right to ruin your day, and that’s what I want you to know.”
Sider, who’s been named by Country Music Association’s Close-Up Magazine as one of the new artists to watch in 2013, interacted with the crowd as she balanced each song with a heart-felt lesson.
The young artist was nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media Award for her work to fight bullying with the Global Women’s Empowerment Network.
Sider, who has opened shows for Jamie O’Neal, Aaron Tippin and Gloriana, said her song “Butterfly” talks about how she overcame bullying by her peers in elementary school.
During the assembly, a group of students and staff members played tambourines and maracas on stage as Sider led the entire room in a rousing rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Why You Gotta Be So Mean?”
Before the assembly closed, Sider sat in the front row with a wide smile as the school’s glee club performed the sign-language version of “Butterfly.”
“I think her anti-bully message goes over well with the kids because she is so young,” said Diana Racobs, the school secretary. “She is so mature and professional.”
Racobs said the entire assembly event, along with free photos and wrist bands, was paid for by Sider.
After the assembly, Sider said she started the tour because she’s always wanted to help and inspire people, and the opportunity to travel was made possible after she began homeschooling this year.
“Being a positive figure in the lives of others is important to me, and the message of bullying prevention is important,” Sider said. “The kids at Topaz have been amazing. The signs and posters they made for me are wonderful, and the glee club did a great job.”
As a long line of students snaked its way to Sider to take photos or ask for an autograph, school principal Karen Prestwood shared how Sider’s message fit perfectly with the school’s vision.
“She was so genuine and full of energy, and she really connected with the kids,” Prestwood said. “Her message also aligned perfectly with our motto of ‘today decides tomorrow,’ and our goal of teaching respect, leadership and service.”
Eighth-grader Ashlynn Crisp said she felt depressed when Sider shared her bullying experience but was inspired when she heard how the singer “overcame and became a bigger person than them.”
“I took away the courage and strength to be brave to other people so that I can stand for them,” said eighth-grader Moises Aldana. “Don’t let them shove you into a little space because no matter what, you will rise to a butterfly and will fly higher than anyone else.”
After getting an autographed photo, fourth-grader Samirah Obaudo said she will hang it on her fridge to remind her that nobody has the power to ruin her day.
“I don’t know where I’ll be in 10 years,” said Slider after her performance. “I’ll keep spreading the message to never stop believing in yourself.”
Sider can be found online at www.youtube.com/lizziesider or www.facebook.com/lizziesidermusic.
Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or at RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com.
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By SCOTT CAMP Tehachapi News
Lizzie Sider, 15-year-old country musician, paid a visit to Tompkins, Golden Hills, and Cummings Valley elementary schools to promote bullying prevention on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
As part of a two-month tour, Sider is traveling to 80 schools throughout California in a statewide effort to raise awareness about the effects of bullying, and is instructing students on how to intervene when their peers are being teased or ridiculed. Sider is teaming up with the PACER National Bullying Prevention Center to spread her message during what the organization deemed “National Bullying Prevention Month” in 2006.
Sider began performing country music professionally at the age of 13 and, after two years, her career continues to burgeon. She has already performed alongside music stars such as Aaron Tippin and was named an “Artist to Watch in 2013” by the Country Music Association. She is working on a full-length album, which she hopes will be released next year.
Standing in front of more than 200 fourth and fifth graders packed into the cafeteria of Golden Hills elementary, she relayed her own experiences of being bullied as a child, and explained how she found solace in music.
“I would be teased and excluded from games at recess, so I would walk around the playground and sing songs to myself,” she said.
Each student was given a wristband with the saying “Nobody Has The Power to Ruin Your Day” — the motto of her campaign — printed on them.
The musician concluded the interactive assembly with a Q & A session and a performance of her debut single “Butterfly,” which she co-wrote with singer Jamie O’Neal. The song tells the tale of how she learned to overcome being bullied.
Being a youngster herself, Sider explained how her “peer-to-peer” assemblies have made it easier to get her message across to those who are close in age.
“I have always wanted to inspire people,” she said. “It is a great feeling when a kid leaves a message on my website telling me how much I have changed his or her life.”
Sider began the tour at the beginning of the month and wrap up by Thanksgiving. She said she hopes to continue the campaign in her home state of Florida next year.
The link to this article in TehachapiNews.com:
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:
WHITTIER >> Country singer Lizzie Sider brought her anti-bullying campaign, “No One Has The Power To Ruin Your Day,” to Ocean View Elementary School Monday.
She not only sang songs — a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Mean” and her own “Butterfly — but talked to fourth- and fifth-graders about bullying.
“I was called names, and laughed at,” she told the students, who are not much older than herself at 15 years of age.
“I used to sing quietly to myself on the playground,” Sider said, “when I was your age, as a way to cope.”
She called it a very hurtful time.
Eventually, Snider, who was named this year by the Country Music Association as one of the new artists to watch, overcame the bullying.
“One day, I thought, ‘No one has the power to ruin my day,’” she said.
At one point during the assembly, Sider directed the students to close their eyes and asked them to raise their hands if they were ever bullied.
With nearly every hand raised, including teacher’s, she asked everyone to open their eyes and look around to see who had been bullied.
A low-volume, “Whoa,” was the verbal response from the students as they surveyed the room.
After listing NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, mega singing star Taylor Swift, and the late co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, as those who once endured bullying, Sider asked the students, “Why do people bully?”
They answered that bullies may have been bullied themselves, or they thought it was fun to bully.
Sider encouraged them to look out for one another as they would do in the case of a younger sibling.
She closed out the program singing Swift’s “Mean,” accompanied by teachers and students on tambourines, maracas and other instruments, as well as a solo turn on her own “Butterfly” as the audience sang along.
The Ocean View stop was one of 80 campus visits statewide.
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Posted Nov 04, 2013
Country Western singer Lizzie Sider, 15, sings during her 80-school California Bully Prevention Tour for students at Ocean View Elementary School in Whittier on Monday November 4, 2013.
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October 28, 2013, Issue 369, Page 6, Country AirCheck Weekly