Tonight, Everyday Heroes Banded Together for Kindness

Tonight marked the third annual holiday event for Wear the Cape’s kidkind foundation, and it just might have been the best one yet. With over 90 women in attendance, 20 Cape Kids who volunteered their time, and many vendors who donated their services and specialties, the kidkind foundation raised over $9,500(estimate) to use for GOOD.

Thanks to generous donations, in 2016 Wear the Cape and the kidkind foundation will be bringing to elementary schools a fun and inspiring, hour-long assembly with a new, positive approach to preventing and stopping bullying, publishing a children’s book that beautifully illustrates that it’s better to be a hero than a bully, and putting money toward scholarships for deserving young men and woman who embody Wear the Cape’s mission.

As the near 100 guests arrived, they were greeted by young Cape Kids decked in red capes, who assisted them with their generous donations. They also came laden with much needed supplies for our troops overseas via Operation NJ Cares, toys for underprivileged children via NJ Children’s Shelter of Trenton, and delicious treats for a cookie swap. By sharing one tray of cookies each with all, women were able to bring home tins of “kindness cookies” to enjoy and be reminded of the good in the world throughout the holiday season.

Guests even gained an early start on holiday shopping. Cocoa Fete, Fabulously Frilly, Eileen McDonald, Silpada, Rosie Posie Botique, Pampered Chef and Petit Lily were among the vendors who donated a percentage of their profits back to the kidkind foundation. Wear The Cape also introduced its new merchandise – a comfy long-sleeve tee, a warm and fuzzy hat, love-inspiring lip moisturizer and a beautifully crafted Cape pin – complete with “hero tags” that coach kids on making the right choices and being “BETTER THAN THAT™”.

Additionally, several local business owners, including Ann Nappi, Sandrine Boegart, Ann Fournier, and Danielle Mazzurco donated to a for-goodness-sake raffle. Pink Buttercup donated a cake and the valet fee was donated by YLP Parking, as well.

But the fun didn’t stop there! Madame Clare entertained and inspired adults and children with positive fortunes of their heroic deeds in the future. Colleen Grunfest of Warren, a beloved, local teacher who is committed to building good character in kids, donned a costume to play the part.

A highlight of the evening was watching the video trailer for Wear the Cape’s soon-to-be-released assembly, which will be brought to schools in New Jersey and beyond beginning this January 2016. One awesome Cape Kid summed up the video by saying, “My favorite part of making this movie was showing that it really is cool to be kind.”

For more information on how you can preview the assembly and bring the interactive, multimedia presentation to your child’s school, please email Leigh Ann Errico at


4 12

18 16 14 13



10 9 8 7



6 173


5 Ways to Battle Bullying

Wear TheCape Kids kidkind foundationIt’s the final week of Anti-bullying month, yet, with regret, we know that it’s not the end of bullying. What can we do to help our children live a better life where we promote kindness and battle bad behavior?

Fortunately, we have an excellent resource by our resident expert on character, Dr. Philip Brown, “5 Ways to Battle Bullying” which was featured in the Washington Family Journal E-news website. In this article, below, Dr. Brown lists the specific ways a child is known to bully and the difference between conflict and bullying.  After each point, Dr. Brown follows with suggestions of how we can model, enforce, correct, and prevents such behavior.

This article is a must read! Please join me in this battle to make a change for our children and bring back kindness and goodness to not only their lives, but to our society as a whole. The time is now. Will you join me in this important mission?

Actions Speak Louder than Words, but Words Wield Power

Oliver B. is a fifth grade teacher at a public elementary school in Austin, Texas.
Oliver B. is a fifth grade teacher at a public elementary school in Austin, Texas.

It’s been said that words are empty sounds. The old nursery rhyme even exclaims that sticks and stones may break bones, but words are harmless. Working with elementary school-age kids, however, has taught me that words can be harmful – or even deadly depending on the situation – or they can be helpful. Actions do speak louder than words, but words wield power.

The diversity and culture at my school was the reason I selected it as the launch pad for my quest to save public education. I suppose I was hired because I was a young, energetic male – a white whale in today’s elementary schools, some might say. Although I substitute taught for four years while weighing whether to pursue and then completing my Master of Education (M.Ed.), it soon became evident that the job would require more than I ever imagined, despite the ample resources available (a positive behavior plan, social emotional learning and an anti-bullying program). My first year at, what was by all accounts a great school, exposed me to the harsh reality of bullying in the Millennial generation. In my day, bullying happened at school or on the playground. Now, it happens nearly every hour of the day and most often via social media.

I teach fifth grade. It’s a critical juncture when children attempt to define themselves through their words, actions and, of course, their social media presence. The last stop in elementary school is the gateway to adolescence, and this time of transition doesn’t come without pain points.

During my first year teaching, one of my students had a history of bullying – and, unfortunately, his mother had a history of displaying similar behavior toward the school. One day, a student came to me in rage-filled tears. The aforementioned bully had repeatedly accosted this new victim with taunts of, “You will never be awesome like me, so you should just kill yourself….You look so dumb with your freckles….You know why your dad died in Iraq? It was because he was a wimp.” It was heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time.

To stand up to a bully requires courage. The victim had been taught to use words to shut the bully down, but sometimes tears came instead of words, and that’s when he turned to me for help. I launched into action and placed my hand on the bully’s shoulder. “This needs to stop!” I demanded. I had his attention and again repeated my message that his bad behavior had to end and had to end immediately. I informed the school principal and his mother about the incident, and – believe it or not – his mom actually thanked me for doing the right thing. A noticeable change in the bully’s behavior was evident from that day forward.

As an ongoing mission, I aim to create a positive and inclusive classroom, which includes building a culture of character. Think, “Life can be tough, but so are you.” We all share our humanity while appreciating our differences; embracing different points of view and beliefs is foundational for an effective class culture. Every year, I start with typical team-building activities and explanations of expectations, just like other classes. The unique thing that happens in my class is that the students learn that love and friendship come with actions, not just words – and my students see that by watching me.

I also candidly share that I’ve played the role of the victim and the perpetrator (regretfully) of bullying at different points during my childhood. This helps them to see me as human like them, and they no longer feel pigeonholed into either category. I want them to realize that they can transcend their current circumstances. Also, I strongly believe that creating a sense of identification with students is key to being a leader of the classroom, not just a manager.

At a training about creating inclusive and safe schools, I was asked to choose from a variety of quotes and embrace one as a teacher in the classroom. Instead, I decided to create my own, a quote that my class could use to strengthen our dedication to action (which includes harnessing the power of words). I drew my inspiration from a wise man by the name of Yogi Berra; here’s what I crafted: “If nobody helps anybody, nobody helps anybody. So, be that buddy!” Now, we recognize our mission in my classroom with a simple hashtag not meant for Twitter, but for our hearts: #BeThatBuddy. This hashtag empowers us to wear the cape with courage and pride.

October is National Anti-Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Anti-Bullying Prevention Month – a month dedicated to building hope and giving our children the strategies needed to eradicate this concerning epidemic. October is National Anti-Bullying Prevention Month – a month dedicated to building hope and giving our children the strategies needed to eradicate this concerning epidemic.

I created Wear the Cape and the kidkind foundation back in 2012, as a concerned mom of 4 kids and after hearing of several horrific bullying incidents in the news. I dreamed of a kinder, better world for my kids, and decided that I was going to take the first steps in making that world a reality not only for my children, but for all children. We are all about promoting to kids how incredibly cool it is to be kind! We all have the ability to be heroic – as if we are wearing a cape on our backs each day – just by simply being nice and sticking up for the kids who can’t help themselves. That’s how we roll!

Here are the disturbing facts:

  • One in four children are currently being bullied.
  • Every seven seconds a child is bullied on a school playground.
  • 160,000 children do not attend school each day for fear of being bullied. 

No doubt, these statistics are tough to comprehend.  Thankfully, there is hope: According to the ASPCC findings, “When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds at least 57% of the time.”

Where do we go from there?  We at Wear the Cape are here to help guide you. Our teacher team has created lesson plans for you to use in your classrooms, at home, at church, and/or with your Girl and Boy scout troops. They are complete plans, which include Bloom’s Taxonomy practices, that can be cut and pasted directly into your weekly lesson plans. They are adjustable to meet your needs – do all in one day, over the course of the week, or month.   This week’s lesson, geared toward grades K-3 is included: and be sure to check out the supporting materials on the site that you can cut out and use in the classroom.

We are also thrilled to announce that our team has created a school assembly that we will be offering to schools in early January, 2016.  Our multi-media assembly includes interactive features; an amazing multi-media video that features our Cape Kids in action; and follow-up activities for both teachers and parents.  Our final edits are under construction. Your school will not want to miss this presentation! We promise it will not disappoint. *

We need to teach our children and each other the strategies needed to step in, to Wear your Cape, and be “Better Than That.”  Together we can do this. Together we can end bullying!

Thanks for helping us spread the word!

* For further information from Wear the Cape and kidkind foundation or to book an assembly, please email us at

Choose kind,

Leigh Ann

Making Kindness your September Resolution

Making Kindness Your ResolutionI must admit, I was taken by such surprise when sitting on my back patio, soaking up the final days of summer, when I heard “Auld Lang Syne,” also known by many as the New Year’s Eve song, playing in the background on my television. My first thought, after thinking I was hearing incorrectly, was….. “Resolutions….!”

For many, September starts the new school year. It is a fresh start with a new class for the teachers and a new grade level for the students. Who doesn’t love a fresh start? With that new start comes new hopes and dreams. Let’s resolve to add kindness to our daily lives, through our actions and words. Let’s commit to teaching our children, at both home and at school, about the power of kindness, and the power of Wearing the Cape.

Several ideas of Kindness resolutions that you and your children can work on this school year are:

  1. Choose to use kind words
  2. Pay someone a compliment
  3. Help someone in need
  4. Stick up for the kids who need your help
  5. Be compassionate toward others
  6. Be a kindness role model
  7. Volunteer in your school or community*

 * Ways to Volunteer in your community:

  • Visit a local nursing home or assisted living facility to read or play games with the residents.
  • Make sandwiches or collect canned goods for a homeless shelter or food pantry
  • Spend several hours at an animal shelter
  • Call your local church or YMCA – they are often in need of volunteers.
  • Offer to go grocery shopping for an elderly or disabled neighbor.
  • Contact your local hospital, Red Cross, or Girl/Boy Scouts to see about volunteer opportunities.

There is something so exciting and hopeful about a new school year: New friendships, new opportunities, and new beginnings.

Remember to choose kind and Wear the Cape.