Hundreds of students from Prince of Wales Secondary's feeder schools packed the high school's auditorium to experience a special anti-bullying pop concert.
With booming sound system, bright lights and a smoke machine, Kindness Rocks uses live music, dance and true-story-telling to convey messages of kindness, empathy, compassion, forgiveness and social responsibility in a fun and relatable way.
Between each number performers shared stories of challenges they faced growing up. To start things off, lead singer, MC and organizer Jeanette proclaimed, "Be a hero in your own life." Jeanette then spoke about the effects of her Dad's alcoholism, how she was bullied and then stood by while others were bullied. Singer Christina moved from Vietnam at the age of 6, lost her Dad, dropped out of school, but returned after she discovered music. Her husband Bobby, a drummer whose mother suffered severe mental illness, related what it was like growing up in the foster system. Singer/songwriter Adam was diagnosed with diabetes at age 12 and talked about the depression he suffered as a result. Desiree, a dancer, had overcome a serious injury. Keyboardist Mark read aloud an apology letter he received as an adult from a fellow student who had bullied him relentlessly for many years.
"Everyone can relate to at least one of the stories we tell," said Jeanette. "We're sharing from the heart"¦.The kids really listen when we're vulnerable."
When the show finished students in the audience were all smiles, arms in the air, clapping and waving. "It was amazing," "The songs were very good," "I really liked it," chorused a group of Grade 6 and Grade 7 students from Trafalgar Elementary.
In all there were three Kindness Rocks concerts at PW, two for elementary kids and one for secondary students. Over its decade long history of working to help stop bullying and violence the group has performed for over 100,000 youth.