Cape Kid of the Month Michael Mancino Shares Simple Ways You Can Spread Kindness Every Day!

Wear the Cape is proud to introduce its first Cape Kid of 2019! Michael Mancino is an everyday hero in the 6thgrade at Warren Middle School in Warren, New Jersey.  He is a valued member of the Watchung Hills Pop Warner football team, Warren youth travel basketball team, and the town’s winter and spring lacrosse teams.

Both on and off the field and court, Michael can be found helping others. This ongoing mission, along with his generous heart and determination to stand up for what is right, shows that Michael is committed to being BETTER THAN THAT™ – better than doing the wrong thing, even though it’s often the easier choice!

After a friend stood up for Michael when he was being teased in elementary school, he made the commitment to he himself be an Upstander – someone who sticks up for others when they are being bullied or mistreated. Michael realized at that moment that it only takes ONE person to make a difference. He shared, “The teasing made me feel anxious and belittled. However, when someone stood up for me, it made me feel valued. I wanted to be the person to do this for someone else…to make others feel worthwhile and befriended, like I did that day.”

In an effort to spread kindness throughout his former elementary school, Michael proposed starting a Kidkind Clubto his teacher and principal, before he graduated. The school officials were so impressed with the plan he presented that they put it on the agenda to seek implementation in 2019. He is aiming to bring a Kidkind Club to his middle school this spring, as well.

Michael also spreads kindness by giving his time. He has volunteered at Wear the Cape’s annual holiday fundraiser in December for the past four years. This summer, he joined The Lunchbox Movement to bring lunch to underprivileged children at Jerry Walker’s summer camp in Jersey City. During National Volunteer Month, in April, he provided support for The Bounce Factory of Warren’s Gentle Bounce Session, where he assisted children with special needs. Presently, he helps coach first and second graders in basketball!

Michael lives by a special mantra instilled by his father: “Good character and not reputation is what I value.”

Below are simple ways Michael suggests you can spread kindness every day:

  1. Stand up for others. When you see someone not treating another person the way you would want to be treated, say something! It takes courage, but the more you do this, the easier it becomes.
  2. Compliment others. A kind word can turn someone’s bad day into a happy one. Be the hero who saves someone from the doldrums, just by saying something nice!
  3. Be a good friend:  A good friend is consistent, trustworthy and kind. Be that to others, and you’re more likely to build meaningful, lasting friendships.
  4. Be kind to yourself: Being kind to yourself puts you in a state of mind that helps you be kind to others. Love yourself for who you are. Do your best. Forgive yourself. Take care of your own needs. When you’re happy within, you can spread that sunshine.

Would you like to promote kindness in your school by starting a Kidkind Club? We’ve made it super simple for you to do. Access our “KIDKIND CLUB PROPOSAL TEMPLATE” by clicking here.

Lilly Cappiello – The girl who spreads kindness like confetti!

Lilly CappielloIt is our pleasure to introduce to you Lilly Cappiello as our December Cape Kid of the Month. Lilly is a 5th grader at Alexandria Middle School in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.  She plays lacrosse and basketball for Hunterdon County and is often found staying late, after her games, to cheer on the kids playing the next game.

Like the flower, Lilly is known to brighten a person’s day. She likes to bring people together and advocates for those who are left out or need a helping hand. In school Lilly helped a girl who was being bullied by including her at her lunch table. She also reached out to another friends, to offer support and care, when she saw they were having a problem.

Lilly CappielloLilly has a special bond with her beloved Aunt Ginny, who is developmentally disabled. This relationship developed a desire in Lilly to care for and spread extra kindness to those with special needs.  For instance, when Lilly saw a man with special needs at church, she immediately turned to her mom and said, “I feel like he doesn’t have many people to say hello to him, so I am going to say hi to him each week.”

Like many middle school students, Lilly has been faced with being teased, due to her learning disability. It’s unfair and unkind, but Lilly chooses to combat these bullies with kindness.  She has a BETTER THAN THAT™ message for all middle school kids. Please read this message to your children, and share with friends. It’s such an important message that our young children need. Please help us spread this message to all.

Dear Middle School friends,

Sometimes I’ve been teased at school and it hurts my feelings and makes me really sad. A strategy I use is pretending that there’s a shield around me, so the teasing doesn’t get to me. Sometimes I stand up for myself and say, “You can’t talk to me like that.” But that can be hard to do.

I always make sure I talk to my mom or another grown up, whom I trust. That helps me feel better.

If you see someone else being a bully, don’t follow him/her and if you can, find a way to get this person to stop (confront, tell an adult). We all need to think about our own words and how they can make the other person feel.

Your friend,

Lilly

Thank you, Lilly, for spreading kindness and helping those in need. You are an excellent example of showing that you can be kind every day, in small ways that have a great impact to all!

If you have a great kid that you would like to nominate for our Cape Kid of the Month award, please email leighann@wearthecapekids.com

Spreading Kindness and Cheer throughout the Past Year

As this year comes to an end, we would like to pause and celebrate the seeds of kindness that were sown over the past 12 months. Wear the Cape is incredibly proud of the work its team has done to help spread goodwill throughout our communities, and hope you feel inspired to continue doingthe same. 

This past year, Wear the Cape brought its assembly program to over 2,000 children! We’ve now reached over 50 elementary schools, recreation departments and clubs throughout the country. The Hero Strategies that we teachare being used to build positive relationships between students, teachers, parents, and coaches. We could not be prouder and more humbled by the impact this program has had on participants – students and teachers alike.

In fact, due to the heartening feedback we’ve received, Wear the Cape is pressing on with the creation of a middle school program, which will further extend our mission of teaching kids that IT’S COOL TO BE KIND by being BETTER THAN THAT™.

Helping others is what we do best at Wear the Cape, and this year we decided to expand our efforts through the creation of THE LUNCHBOX MOVEMENT. The Erricochildren, who act as Cape Kid ambassadors, created a program to help feed underprivileged children during the summer months, when they do not have access to school lunches.  

Thanks to their hard work and outreach, they received donations from local businesses, such as Burger King, Costco, Stop and Shop, Acme, and ShopRite, as well as a donation of reusable lunchboxes from kidkind foundation. These lunchboxes were filled with nourishing food, as well as handwritten notes of encouragement, and delivered by the Errico children and other Cape Kid ambassadors to Team Walker Summer Camp in Jersey City. 

Cape Kids even gave an interactive presentation on nutrition and etiquette to the campers before they enjoyed their meal. It was a joy-filled day for all, one that Wear the Cape hopes to relive again next year. Please email leighann@wearthecapekids.com if you know of a camp or organization that is in need of summer lunches.

This year, during National Volunteer Month, Wear the Cape’s Cape Kid ambassadors also lent a hand at Bounce Factory in Warren, New Jersey, during their Gentle Bounce session. Beautiful friendships were formed, as Cape Kidsassisted children with special needs in their jump session. We’re excited that Wear the Cape will be offering children more volunteer experiences throughout the new year to continue teaching the importance of giving back to others!

Additionally, Wear the Cape had several firsts this past year. For one, our organization was invited to present a lesson on kindness and heroism, as part of Take Your Child to Work Day at Willis Towers Watson in Short Hills, New Jersey. We were thrilled to be a part of this very special day, while spreading the word that it’s COOL TO BE KIND.

Additionally, we received countless calls and emails this past year from people throughout the country sharing how they learned of Wear the Cape and how the organization’s educational resources have helped them and their children(feedback is one of our greatest rewards). 

One of the most surprising calls came from the NJ Devils hockey team. They heard about the work Wear the Cape isdoing to spread kindness and the positive impact our assembly is having in many communities. They were so impressed with our program that they invited Wear the Cape to present at a NJ Devils game next year. Wow! 

We thank YOU for helping to spread kindness in your community and beyond, through support of Wear the Cape and your independent endeavors. If you would like to gift an assembly or IT’S GOOD TO BE KIND books to an underprivileged school, donate to THE LUNCHBOX MOVEMENT, or purchase our merchandise, which donates 10% of profits to kidkind foundation, please visit https://cape.myshopify.com/products/donate-to-wear-the-cape-kids. All donations to the kidkind foundation, a registered 501 (c)(3) charity, are tax-deductible.

Wishing you many blessings throughout the new year!

In kindness,

Leigh Ann Errico