2009 Implementation Award Winner

Freewall: Making Space for Diversity

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This project is about developing community and acceptance at Center Alternative School in Kansas City by inviting the students to participate in a creative dialogue about all things worthy of love. Because these students are academically disadvantaged, disabled, probationary or have low socioeconomic status, the problem of bullying is a major concern. Bullying divides students, hurts self-esteem and inhibits education. This project is designed to counteract bullying by giving each student an even platform for self-expression. Their messages focused around love will transform a cool-blue banner into a warm, all-inclusive community creation.

Logan Smith

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June 18, 2013
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The wall created entirely by the students at Center Alternative School became a positive symbol of community and diversity.
Students posted their messages on the cool blue wall. As the wall filled with stickers it came alive with warm tones and personal meaning.
The 24-inch posters created by miss Mary’s class were hung around the school to introduce the rest of the students to the project.
The students have total freedom with their stickers, from the messages to the arrangement.
The students have total freedom with their stickers, from the messages to the arrangement.

Center Alternative School is a last resort for students who have been unsuccessful in school. Many of these students’ situations stem from serious developmental problems at home. Issues of anger and self-esteem become catalysts for bullying. The vicious cycle continues as students become victims at home and at school.


What would it take to stop bullying in school? Students need to be willing to participate in the solution cooperatively. They need to feel a sense of belonging, empowered to speak, and pride in their involvement. Each student's message of love helps fight intolerance and contribute to the solution.