Accept, Include, and Be Kind!

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Celebrates Unity Week Oct. 15-20

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. –October is Bullying Prevention Month and Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is taking part by declaring October 15-20 as Unity Week. The purpose of the week is to promote the inclusion and acceptance of all individuals in our community. The week will be celebrated with displays and decorations in recreation centers, handcrafted weaving projects, and will culminate with a very special showing of the movie WONDER at Mount Trashmore Park.

Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time. This movie is the perfect choice to end this week of acceptance and inclusion, as a reminder that our differences are something that should bring us together rather than keep us apart. The movie night event will begin at 4 p.m. with food trucks, children's games and activities. Movie viewers are asked to wear orange to show their support of Unity Week and stop by the information tent to sign the giant unity pledge board. A drone photo of the crowd will be taken on the side of the mountain at approximately 6 p.m.

In the time leading up to Unity Week, staff members, recreation center members, and program participants shared what unity means to them by writing signs and taking photos which were compiled into a video. The video will be featured on the big screen Saturday evening prior to the start of the movie. Additionally, students in the Mayors Youth Leaders in Action (MYLA) program have put together a series of anti-bullying awareness activities that they will lead for elementary school students in four different Parks & Recreation after school programs throughout the week.

With a range of facilities, amenities, and events that foster participation by individuals of all ability-levels including therapeutic recreation programs and free inclusion services, Parks & Recreation has long felt an obligation to promote unity and togetherness. To learn more about Unity Week or get involved, visit VBgov.com/Inclusion and click the link to tell us what unity means to you. Citizens can also share their "unity means" messages on social media by using #VBunity.

About Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation strives to promote healthy lifestyles and protect the City's coastal environment, as well as to ensure all residents – regardless of their physical, social and economic circumstances – can access Parks & Recreation programs. The department's vision is to be the national leader in providing enriching and memorable lifelong experiences. Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, visit VBgov.com/parks or call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 757-711 Virginia Relay). Sign up for Parks & Rec email newsletters at VBgov.com/eNews. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/VBparksrec

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