City News - Current

Posted on: November 13, 2017

Anaheim marks World Kindness Day, hosts ‘Wonder’ movie premier as part of #ChooseKind initiative

Wonder web

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2017) — Anaheim is joining cities across the country in encouraging kindness and celebrating those who “choose kind” with thank-you breakfasts and a special screening of the film “Wonder.”

Anaheim joins Philadelphia, Miami Beach, Nashville, Minneapolis, Birmingham, Ala., and Arlington, Texas, in the #ChooseKind city initiative.

The cities are promoting kind acts around World Kindness Day, on Monday and hosting special screenings of “Wonder” on Thursday a day before its national release.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait is hosting a screening for teachers, students, volunteers, nonprofits and others working to advance kindness in Anaheim. The screening takes place at the Cinemark Century Stadium theaters next to Honda Center.

“This is a way for our city to celebrate and honor all those who make Anaheim a city of kindness,” Mayor Tait said. “The moving message of ‘Wonder’ will help us inspire even more people to choose kindness. Imagine a city where everyone is just a little kinder — that’s the city where we all want to live.”

Based on R.J. Palacio’s New York Times best-seller, “Wonder” tells the inspiring and heartwarming story of August “Auggie” Pullman — a boy born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school.

Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade class. As his family, his new classmates and the community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

The film, from Lionsgate in association with Participant Media and Walden Media, stars Academy Award-winner Julia Roberts and Oscar-nominee Owen Wilson as the parents of Auggie, portrayed by Jacob Tremblay.

The “Wonder” screening is part of a series of events this month in Anaheim.

This week, students at three schools will be honored with thank-you breakfasts and #ChooseKind city T-shirts:

  • Anaheim High School: recognizing the Anaheim Bros, a group of high school guys who help and support each other while working toward college, and Civically Raising Opportunities for Women Now, or CROWN, a group of high school girls serving their community.
  • Savanah High School: recognizing students who take part in Project Support Anaheim’s Youth, which engages students in social, educational and recreational and teaches leadership, problem-solving and goal-setting.
  • Baden-Powell Elementary School: recognizing sixth-graders taking part in the Great Kindness Challenge to instill kindness in schools and who also have adopted “choose kind” as their words to live by.

At Lincoln Elementary School in central Anaheim, Second Harvest Lion’s Den food pantry last week received 5,000 mini tubes of Crest toothpaste as part of the #ChooseKind city initiative.

The pantry, which opened in 2015, helps bridge meal gaps for students and their families.

Anaheim Public Library branches have been hosting “Wonder” book readings and discussions with elementary school kids about the importance of being kind.

At the readings, kids also get to see previews of the movie and take home a tool kit with fun ways for families to spread kindness.

The next readings and kindness discussions are set for Haskett Branch Library and the Ponderosa Joint-Use Library on Nov. 15 and 22.

The events build on an Anaheim initiative that started in 2010 to promote kindness as a way of building a stronger, more connected city that can better handle disasters and everyday social issues including crime, bullying, elder abuse and drug dependency.

On Nov. 8, Anaheim’s City Council officially adopted a resolution designating “City of Kindness” as the official city motto and endorsed expanded efforts to spread kindness in the city’s culture and in the community.

On World Kindness Day and again on Thursday for the “Wonder” screening, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center — better known as ARTIC — will shine in “Wonder” blue.

The curved roof of the station features 1,354 lights that can shine in an array of colors. The “Wonder” blue will send a message of kindness to drivers on the adjacent Orange (57) Freeway and everyone in the area.

For more about Anaheim’s City of Kindness initiative, visit Anaheim.net/kindness.

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