Naperville KidsMatter Red Carpet Premiere

Naperville kids took to the red carpet as they showcased their videos against cyber bullying.

It was all for a contest hosted by KidsMatter, asking students to submit a two-minute video about the effects of online bullying. 140 entries came in and were narrowed down to the final 14 by a committee.

The competition concluded with an evening of Hollywood-like stardom at the Yellow Box Church, including a photo op with Mayor Emeritus, George Pradel.

Each submission highlights different ways kids are taking the conversation about bullying outside the classroom.

“The enthusiasm, the passion of these kids to communicate a message about why you need to stand up to bullying and why you need to be an up stander instead of a bystander or a victim, that was powerful. I think the most important thing to us is that it’s kids really teaching kids. It’s peer to peer and yet us adults benefit as well,” said Idalynn Wenhold, Executive Director of KidsMatter.

The night concluded with audience members voting for their favorite video. First place went to ‘Predator’ by Paige and Julia Bottarelli.

With almost four times as many submissions as last year, KidsMatter is looking forward to continuing the tradition.

“We expect, next year, to be prepared for even more entries and we’re excited about that because it means the message is permeating throughout Naperville schools. So the kids are feeling supported and empowered to be those messengers that say no more bullying,” added Wenhold.

It’s a simple message, but these kids agree, an idea worth sharing.

“Bullying is really mean and it’s illegal to do it online. So never do it,” said participant Paige Bottarelli.

“Even if they’re a random person you should stand up for them to make the world a better place,” said participant Nikhil Senthil.

Naperville News 17’s Rachel Pierson reports.

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