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Ridgefield Seeks Entries in Anti-Bullying Contest

From left, Hugo Jimenez, Milena Zapateiro, Linda Apkarian, Jane Forte, and Lauren Larkin, who have all served on the committee.
From left, Hugo Jimenez, Milena Zapateiro, Linda Apkarian, Jane Forte, and Lauren Larkin, who have all served on the committee. Photo Credit: Courtesy Lauren Larkin
The committee selected over a dozen winners in last year's contest.
The committee selected over a dozen winners in last year's contest. Photo Credit: Courtesy Lauren Larkin
From left, Lauren Larkin, Mayor Anthony Suarez, his daughter, Laura, and Councilman Russell Castelli.
From left, Lauren Larkin, Mayor Anthony Suarez, his daughter, Laura, and Councilman Russell Castelli. Photo Credit: Courtesy Lauren Larkin

RIDGEFIELD, NJ — The state’s first anti-bullying committee at Ridgefield Public Schools is holding its second annual essays and posters contest.

The committee is welcoming entrees from students during National Bullying Prevention Month addressing this year's theme: “What it Means to Be an UPstander.”

Gift certificates will be awarded to winning groups of students in each of three grade categories -- second through fifth grade; sixth through eighth grade; and ninth through twelfth grade.

Entrees must be submitted to the Ridgefield Public Library or the main offices of schools by Oct. 30. Winners will be notified in time for the Nov. 23 mayor and council meeting.

Participants can write essays, or create posters, or, in some cases, create public service announcement videos.

“Kids aren’t spending time outside and getting out that energy. It’s following people into their homes,” said committee member Lauren Larkin.

A lifelong borough resident, Larkin raised two sons through the local system. She joined the committee two years ago and has served as chairperson for the past year and a half.

Also on the committee: John Corviello, principal of Slocum Skewes Elementary School, Mayor Anthony Suarez and Andrew Anderson, a former wrestler and town resident who works on his own anti-bullying projects.

“If we can help one person through all of the years feel better, then we’ve done our job,” Larkin said.

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