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Students Launch “Profriend” Campaign

More than 1,400 students from the West Des Moines Community Schools gathered on the Valley Stadium field Tuesday, Sept. 27, to create the largest human formation of the word “friend.”

“Today, we are launching our ‘Profriend’ movement designed by students for students to be able to positively impact the conversation about bullying to promote kindness and friendship in action,” said Valley Southwoods Freshman High School student Job Vander Weide.

Students involved in service learning wanted to create a new movement to prevent bullying. The students identified friendship as a powerful and positive action.

“Many of us have heard a lot about ‘anti-bullying,’ ‘stomping out bullying,’ ‘standing against bullies,’” said Vander Weide. “This is important, but we thought there might a better way, a positive way to prevent bullying.’”

Student ambassadors from each building in the district that attended the event will go back to their schools to bring people together, connect with each other, encourage people to be considerate of one another, and spread friendship.

“This Profriend Campaign will help us build empathy and kindness, which allows us to create new relationships, understand through the perspectives of others, and focus on creating solutions while having fun,” said Dayna Dunnwald, a ninth-grader at Valley Southwoods.

City leaders from West Des Moines, Windsor Heights, and Clive joined the event. West Des Moines Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Sandager and Windsor Heights Mayor Diana Willits announced that their respective cities will proclaim the week of October 17 as “Profriend Week.”  Students will present at the Clive City Council meeting on October 13.

For more information about Profriend, please visit wdmcsprofriend.com.

See a timelapse of the word formation on the district Facebook page. 

See photos and drone video of the event on the district Flickr.