Frankie teaches anti-bullying to North Charleston elementary school
By Stacy Jacobsonsjacobson@abcnews4.com
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- For some kids at Chicora Elementary School, life doesn't always play out like a perfect chant. About 150 students are part of a teacher-recommended after-school program called WINGS.
"Our program is filled with the most at-risk kids at the most at-risk schools," said Liz Mester, director of development for WINGS.
On Monday the kids got a special visitor.
"They know he's coming. They know he's going to be talking about him being unique. They have made signs for him," Mester said.
Frankie Antonelli recently sang with Darius Rucker at the Wando High School talent show. But Monday, he was the rock star for the third, fourth and fifth graders in the WINGS program.
Frankie hasn't let Down syndrome stop him, and his message to the kids was simple: bullying is unacceptable.
"Show respect and make good choice," he said.
The signs and adoration are as mutual as the smiles on their faces.
"He taught us not to bully and respect others no matter how their body works. Don't bully. Just act like they're one of us. They're still one of us," said fourth grade student Corey Holmes.
"I hope our kids really step in to Frankie's shoes and live out some of those lines and lessons we teach, and they embrace him; they walk away feeling like even though others are different, we're all the same," Mester said.
Frankie is putting a face to perhaps the most important lesson of the day at Chicora Elementary School.