Teen Singer Builds Chorus Against Bullying (South Daytona Beach News-JournalOnline.com)

Published by South Daytona Beach News-Journal Online

Feb. 3, 2014

Article by Linda Trimble

Web article: https://www.news-journalonline.com/article/LK/20140203/News/605058650/DN

Fifth-grader Lindsey Edmonds saw “a dream come true” Monday as she stood alongside teen recording artist Lizzie Sider belting out a song in front of hundreds of schoolmates at South Daytona Elementary.

SOUTH DAYTONA — Fifth-grader Lindsey Edmonds saw “a dream come true” Monday as she stood alongside teen recording artist Lizzie Sider belting out a song in front of hundreds of schoolmates at South Daytona Elementary.

It was the message as much as the music, though, that kept students singing along, clapping and stomping their feet as Sider talked about bullying prevention in a program that will be presented at eight Volusia schools by week’s end. The 15-year-old country pop singer from Boca Raton is at the beginning of a tour that will take her to 100 Florida schools over the next two months.

“It’s very, very important to me because I had experience with bullying when I was in elementary school,” Sider said in an interview after back-to-back assemblies at South Daytona Elementary.

Sider shares that story — the pain of classmates’ ignoring her at recess and lunch, calling her names and teasing her — in terms children can understand during her school presentations. And she offers practical suggestions on how to prevent bullying and help those who face such intimidation at school.

“It’s up to each and every one of us to look out for each other, just like a little brother or sister,” Sider told her young audience.

She coaches children to remember some advice her father once offered when she was dreading going to school and being teased again. “Nobody has the power to ruin your day,” he told her, a slogan that’s now emblazoned on multicolored Lizzie Sider wristbands the South Daytona students received Monday.

“That means we decide if someone else’s words or actions get us down or make us feel bad,” she said.

“It was good advice for some people who experienced bullying,” fifth-grader Cayla Atkins said of Sider’s presentation. “People who are being bullied will feel better to know somebody else was like them and now they’re better.“

Lee Morrell, a fifth-grader who’s been bullied before, said Sider’s message helped give him strength to “just walk away” if it happens again.

Sider dreamed of a career as a musical performer since she appeared in her first musical theater production at the age of 6. She plays piano, the guitar and is just learning the fiddle as she works toward that dream. She co-wrote and recorded a single titled “Butterfly” in 2012 that’s a trademark of her school presentations and made it to the Top 40 on Nashville’s Music Row Chart.

To accommodate her heavier tour schedule, she’s now homeschooled and travels with her parents, Don and Carole Sider, whom she describes as her “best friends” as well as her stage managers.

“My ultimate goal is to go the highest I can and reach as many people as I can through my music,” she said in Monday’s interview. “I’d like to have people look back and say Lizzie Sider is a name not only for her music but for making a difference in the world.”

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