Bullying can be a harsh reality of life at any age and in many different forms. Local author Candida Sullivan wrote a book to help combat this negative behavior in school-aged children.
Wednesday marked the release of Sullivan’s book Zippy’s Club, as well as opening night of the children’s play by the same name.
The play and book tell a story about a zebra without stripes who is being bullied for being different. Sullivan’s message to children is to embrace being unique.
“The book is full of good things that everyone can learn about. Now that people can see it live, it gives the book more power and can really make a difference,” said Sullivan.
The book invites children to become part of an anti-bullying club, allowing only members who lift others up instead of knocking them down by bullying.
The club’s rules include core values such as following your heart, being kind, treating others the way you want to be treated and celebrating personal differences.
Members of the cast say the play has made a lasting impact on them as well as those who have viewed the play.
“I myself have been bullied so I know what it feels like. I feel really connected to the character,” said Zippy actor Kassie Woodard.
The Middlesboro Little Theater has showings of the play at the Middlesboro Central Auditorium on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $5.
Kelsey Gerhardt may be reached at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.