EDMONTON -- Hundreds of south Edmonton students celebrated diversity and inclusiveness at a Pink Shirt Day Festival. 

This event, organized by the junior high students at Dr. Lila Fahlman School, saw around 900 students participate in games, face painting and an obstacle course.

Cristina Jarvis, a teacher at Dr. Lila Fahlman, said the event was a result of seven different junior high homerooms coming together.

“We have a lot of students here from very diverse backgrounds and so when we give them an opportunity to mentor younger students, help them towards a bit of success, some celebration, we can really help them own the types of things they’re trying to share with the younger students.”

Grade 8 student Georgios Koutsopoulos, one of the organizers, explained why it was important for he and his classmates to be involved.

“It just helps us learn about what other stuff is going on in society.”

A bake sale was also set up to raise money for the Free the Children Foundation. Grade 9 student Leah Cheruvallil spoke to why the charity was a good choice.

“It’s a great organization that helps kids just like us who don’t have the same opportunities that we have. Using these festivals and these opportunities to raise money for the kids that are less fortunate really makes us happy.”

The bake sale had raised over $275. 

Pink Shirt Day started in 2007 and represents a day to stand up to bullying. Edmontonians are encouraged to wear a pink shirt to help raise awareness of bullying and show support to victims. 

Services available for those experiencing or witnessing act as of bullying include:

  • The Bullying Helpline (1-888-456-2323) to speak to services anonymously
  • The Bullying Helpline Chat, available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Alberta.ca/bullyingchat
  • Downloadable resources available at Alberta.ca/bullying