“Tiny” Girl Hopes to End Bullying

October 30, 2014

Contact: Bill Engelbrecht
309-671-1550

(PEORIA, IL) St. Thomas Catholic School in Peoria Heights will host a very special little girl on Monday, November 3 when Acacia “Tiny” Woodley travels to Peoria from Florida to visit St. Thomas’s 400 plus elementary students. This little 12 year old girl, born without complete arms,
who used to be bullied, decided to do something about it and is on a campaign to place a Friendship Bench in every school in the United States. She hopes to create a positive solution to bullying, violence and low self-esteem.

At St. Thomas, the Friendship Bench will go into the school common area and whenever a child is having a rough day, is new to school or just needs a friend to talk to they can sit on the multicolored bench and others can reach out to help or support them.

The Friendship Bench comes with oil based markers for kids to write on the bench, a friendship report for teachers, “I am Amazing” wristbands in rainbow colors, and a letter from “Tiny” encouraging kids to be “amazing”.

St. Thomas principal Maureen Bentley says she has “Just the right place” for the bench and can’t wait for Acacia and her mother to arrive from Florida. “I understand she is an incredible little girl with a big heart” says Bentley. “All our students can’t wait”.

The event will take place on Monday at 9:45 at St. Thomas School. While she is here, Acacia will also dedicate a Friendship Bench at St. Patrick Catholic School in Washington and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Peoria.

Paul and Bridget Sherman of Sherman’s are members of St. Thomas Parish. Sherman’s is sponsoring the Friendship Bench in all the Peoria, Bloomington/Normal and Peru Catholic Schools where they do business.

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