Woodard Earns National Honors

Bellen Woodard, a fifth-grader at Evergreen Mill Elementary, received two major national honors over the weekend. She was selected as one of five finalists for theNickelodeon/Time Magazine Kid of the Year awardand was one of three honorees at theAnti-Defamation League’s Concert Against Hate, held Saturday in Washington, DC.

The Kid of the Year award seeks to recognize “extraordinary young leaders who are making a positive impact in their communities.” Bellen is recognized for her More than Peach Project, though which Bellen has spread awareness about the need for “more than peach” crayons to accurately reflect the skin tones of all people. She formed a nonprofit to promote the empathy, leadership and creativity.

As a finalist, Bellen will receive $5,000 and will serve as a correspondent for Time for Kids for the upcoming year.

On stage at the ADL event on Saturday, she joined fellow honorees Gerda Weissmann, a Holocaust survivor whose organization, Citizenship Counts, engages young people in America’s history of immigration and Team Brownsville, five Texas educators who provided meals and makeshift schools to those seeking asylum across the Rio Grande. Past winners of the ADL award include Gordon Parks, Ruby Bridges and Congressman John Lewis.

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