Kelly McCardle’s ability to draw well is soon going to draw attention to an important crusade: putting a stop to bullying.
A drawing by McCardle, 13, of Charlottetown is being reproduced on t-shirts aimed at promoting Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 27 – a national anti-bullying awareness campaign.
The Grade 8 Stonepark Intermediate student says she really likes drawing. So having her entry selected from among more than 100 others in a pink t-shirt design competition is cause for excitement.
“I guess it makes me feel proud of myself, like I did something good,’’ she said.
Joe Killorn of Stratford, who spearheaded the project, is thrilled with McCardle’s drawing that will be on pink t-shirts going on sale later this week at Mark’s Work Wearhouse in Charlottetown and Summerside.
Killorn is struck by all the strong symbolism in McCardle’s design that consists of a stop sign serving as a frame for a peace sign and an old-style megaphone blaring out the message: Stop Bullying. Stand Up!
The declaration ‘Pink Shirt Day P.E.I.’ runs above the stop sign.
Proceeds from the t-shirts that sell for $10 each will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown while the message on the shirts, Killorn hopes, will resonate with many.
“Pink Shirt Day has grown into a community involvement,’’ he said.
“This is a real action day.’’
Killorn says the municipalities of Charlottetown, Cornwall and Stratford are all actively promoting the national movement that sprung from the earnest campaign of a high school student in Nova Scotia in 2007.
“I guess it makes me feel proud of myself, like I did something good,’’ - Kelly McCardle
Travis Price was a student at Central Kings Rural High School in Cambridge five years ago when a Grade 9 student was bullied for showing up at school in a pink skirt in 2007. Talk among students turned to wearing pink shirts the next day in support.
The next day, half of the school’s students showed up in pink.
Price founded Pink Shirt Day that has become an international movement involving millions of students in thousands of schools.
On Prince Edward Island, Killorn wants to see students donning the Pink Shirt Day P.E.I. t-shirts on Feb. 27. He also wants many others to slip on the shirts whether they are off to work or heading out to run errands.
He wants every community in the province to be involved in Pink Shirt Day because, he explains, bullying is a blemish on every community.
“It’s in our environment everywhere we go on a daily basis,’’ he said.
Killorn got involved in the pink shirt initiative after witnessing the toll bullying took on a family member in school.
He sees donning pink shirts as a strong vehicle to spread the message that bullying will not be tolerated. Even better, he adds, to have a home-grown message courtesy of the artistic and creative talent of a local student like McCardle.
“We thought it was important to have our own unique shirt that people could buy on P.E.I.,’’ he said.