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Port O’Connor Students Flutter Their Wings with Special Guest Lizzie Sider (Dolphin Talk)

Published by Dolphin Talk, Port O'Connor/Seadrift News

May 15, 2014

Article by Kelly Gee

Excitement and anticipation was running high at Port O Connor Elementary this week when Lizzie Sider, a rising country music artist and high school junior from Boca Raton Florida, danced jumped and sang her way into the hearts and lives of the students and staff. Her visit brought with it a very important message: No matter the reason, bullying hurts! The students had studied her theme of ‘no bullying, no teasing,’ and they had completed many assignments and learning activities linking Lizzie’s trademark butterfly with the message and music. The auditorium walls were covered with writing projects, science assignments, art and other work students had completed and proudly displayed. A giant fluttering butterfly created by students for the special day hovered just right of the stage where all the action took place. The young guest artist loved the work Port O Connor students had done in preparation for her visit.

Lizzie is on a yearlong tour of schools across the country sharing her anti-bullying message. Lizzie recounted her story of being bullied and teased in grade school and asked the students and staff how many had also been hurt in that way. Surprisingly, almost every hand in the crowd was raised, both adults and students.

Lizzie told how her dad helped her deal with the hurt and taught her to believe in herself. His message was ‘nobody has the power to ruin your day,’ and Lizzie took it to heart. Now Lizzie is proclaiming that message to others in her TBK- To Be Kind movement of outreach and education. Her passion is infectious and her ability to connect with students impressive. At only 15, she began her 250 school tour without even a driver’s license because ‘she wants to make a real difference, and wants to do something bigger with her life.’ Her parents traveling with her serve as her chauffer, instrument and prop managers and her biggest fans.

Students proudly wore their power band bracelets in bright colors bearing the message of Lizzie’s visit. Every student sang along and joined in as Lizzie sang her original song ‘Butterfly’ and it was clear they each believed that they could fly above bullying and teasing and be a part of the solution. Students and staff played instruments, clapped and sang as Lizzie encouraged, challenged and dared students to stand up against others who would bully or tease.

Despite chart topping releases, country music awards and national recognition, this charming young lady with poise and charm well beyond her years took time and made the effort to connect with each student in attendance. Audience participation, crowd contact, careful attention to little questions with big answers and small gestures so genuinely offered made Lizzie’s assembly feel like a personal visit. She took time to pose for one on one pictures and sign autographs before heading down the road for San Antonio area schools and more stops on her path to reaching out and touching more than 100,000 students with her sweet smile, delightful music and empowering message that just like a caterpillar all of us will come out to fly with colorful wings just like a beautiful butterfly. This impressive young lady was a bright spot in the day and a great role model and mentor for Port O Connor students.


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