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Kellyanne Bartleson, Founder & Creator of online family resource guide, www.EmeraldCoastKids.org, announces Emerald Coast Kid’s 3rd Annual COLOR THE COAST ORANGE #UnityDay2017, in conjunction with Pacer.org’s yearly international anti-bullying movement, #UnityDay. The tri-countywide event will take place on Wednesday, October 25th and schools, families, businesses and the entire community can participate simply by wearing orange. Bay County Schools have already committed to participate, as have several Walton and Okaloosa schools, and we are hopeful that the entire Walton and Okaloosa School District will join.

In 2015, Kellyanne requested and received a Proclamation from Governor Scott declaring October as National Bullying Prevention Month when students, schools and communities come together to raise awareness against bullying. It’s simple: On October 25th, just wear orange, uniting the entire community to make a widespread statement that bullying needs to end. WEAR ORANGE to work, school, practice, everywhere: shirts, nail polish, orange hair extensions, hats, ties, shoes, shoe laces, wristbands, hair bows, etc. Make “#UnityDay” orange ribbons. Schools: Have anti-bullying lessons, make banners, have assemblies with your SROs to discuss emotional, physical and cyber-bullying. Families: Tie an orange ribbon around your mailbox or decorate your front door. Businesses: Give discounts to customers who come in wearing orange on Oct 25th and/or put orange items on sale. Don’t forget to take pictures, post and use #ECKUnityDay #UnityDay2017 on social media to help spread the word.

To sign up for #UnityDay2017, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/175001213055279. For bullying, teen and mental health resources, visit http://www.emeraldcoastkids.org/health-fitness-nutrition.

Asked why she started this yearly movement, Kellyanne said, “I am passionate about this cause, having been personally bullied myself in elementary school. I always envisioned my daughters, their friends & classmates growing up in a safe, bully-free and HAPPY community, which isn’t always the case. Teen suicide, self-harm and mental health issues are at an all-time high… many attributed to bullying. No one wants to talk about it and many don’t know where to go for help. It just baffles me that we live in such a special place, yet sometimes we just aren’t there for each other. We need to talk to our kids, at home, at school… ask them what’s bothering them. I have no doubt that together, we can learn to accept each other and come together against bullying. It’s a start.”

About EmeraldCoastKids.org: Created in late 2014, EmeraldCoastKids.org is a comprehensive, online family resource guide covering Okaloosa and Walton Counties. The website was designed to provide locals & visitors with up-to-date info on all things kids, teens & families. It includes links to events and local calendars, places and things to do, education resources, child-care, sports and after-school activities, birthday party ideas, teen resources, camp sign-ups, and other useful info such as emergency contacts, community service, fitness & nutrition, pet info, DIY/crafts, cooking/recipes, churches, kids eat free, happy hours and more. For sponsorship info or free listings, visit www.emeraldcoastkids.org or contact Kellyanne at (850) 797-4656 or emeraldcoastkids@yahoo.com.

About PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center: Founded in 2006, PACER provides resources and tools to address bullying in schools, the community and online. PACER recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students. For more info, visit www.PACER.org/Bullying


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