Education

Livingston Students to Participate in "Let's Sit Together" Pro-Inclusion Campaign

7db36a6637b178863e9b_23722479_10156066504496495_2259556864722365681_n.jpg
7db36a6637b178863e9b_23722479_10156066504496495_2259556864722365681_n.jpg

LIVINGSTON, NJ — More than one hundred Livingston students and parents will participate in a pro-inclusion campaign to support togetherness within the community by wearing t-shirts with the slogan “Let’s Sit Together” during the school day on Wednesday.

The campaign was born in 2017 out of one Livingston mother’s idea to create inclusion and togetherness among kids and adults in the community and to fight bullying and exclusion in the schools. According to Deepa Pisupati, who initiated the campaign via Facebook groups like Livingston Moms and Ltown Lowdown, the campaign is meant to help the lonely kid who sits by himself at lunch or on the playground to make friends and to also show all children the power they have to bring positive change in the life of another.

Students and parents bought these shirts and vowed to wear them on Jan. 10 and (hopefully) once a week after that to create awareness on a regular basis, according to Pisupati. Onesies and toddler shirts were also available.

Sign Up for E-News

In order to further support the initiative to prevent bullying in schools, $1 from every shirt purchased was donated to Mallory’s Army, a charitable foundation against bullying that was founded in Rockaway following the death of a 12-year-old girl who took her own life. According to the Mallory’s Army website, her death was a direct result of “horrific bullying” from her peers.

“That was also one of the topics of conversation and a lot of people in Livingston knew the child, so we thought we should do something for Mallory and to help fight bullying because her mom is doing a great job,” said Pisupati.

Pisupati said that if even a handful of children in each Livingston school wear this shirt, it could encourage the shy, hesitant or excluded students feel safe to approach those kids and sit or play with them.

She also encouraged local parents not to force their children to participate in this campaign, but to explain what it is about, how they can help an excluded kid feel safe to approach them and how their decision to approach a lonely or shy child could be life-changing to that individual.

“Now, more than ever, we need all the help we can get to get this message across to the kids that being inclusive is the way to be,” Pisupati wrote in one of her early Facebook posts. “After recent events, I feel this project will be more effective if done at a grassroots level. Whoever is ready and willing to wear a shirt that says ‘Let's Sit Together’ is the right fit for this shirt.”

Although many of the school administrators loved the “Let’s Sit Together” idea, Pisupati and her supporters decided to run this initiative on a grassroots level rather than going through the schools. She said the students currently participating are mostly elementary school students and some students at Mt. Pleasant Middle School.

“My main goal is the elementary school kids because they’re still at an age where they can be taught differently, so I’m happy with the elementary-school level,” she said. “I think that’s where you can really spread the message very strongly and make it part of their personality—like, ‘inclusion is cool’ and ‘inclusion is really easy to do.’”

The idea to create the shirt stemmed from a Facebook post written by another Livingston mom, who saw shirts that said “You Can’t Sit With Us” while visiting a local Lord & Taylor. That mother convinced management to removed it from the store, and inspired Pisupati’s idea to counter that by having local children wear a shirt that might encourage other kids to reach out to them.

Due to patent issues, initial slogan ideas like “You Can Sit With Me” or “You Can Sit With Us” were turned down, but other parents stepped up to help find a slogan that was legal, original and unique to Livingston. Patent lawyer Mike Brown helped the group find the perfect slogan, and retired Livingston Public Schools teacher Rich Shue helped print and sell the shirts.

Pisupati, who described herself as a laid-back person and “the most unlikely candidate to lead anything,” said she is still amazed at how quickly this project spread to other parents and became a group effort in Livingston. She sent a special thanks to “the wonderful people of Livingston for their encouragement and support and for not letting this be just another idea.”

She also extended her gratitude to every kid and adult participating in this campaign; her partner, Chitra Rochlani, who designed the shirt and helped Pisupati stay focused and on course; Brown, the patent lawyer who helped Pisupati find the right words for the T-shirt; and Andrea Sargeant Noel, Laurie Greenfield Hauptman and Inna Yelisevich for their support.

“I would also like to thank the admins of Livingston Moms, Ltown Lowdown and Livingston Education for letting me use their groups to spread the message; all the moms who sent me awesome ideas; my wonderful, wonderful printer, Rich Shue, for doing an excellent job with the shirts; Allie Tucker, who is doing a great job with the toddler shirts and onesies; and last but not the least, my husband and kids for their constant encouragement and support,” she said. “I am deeply grateful.”

Follow the Let’s Sit Together Facebook page to support the “Let’s be inclusive, let’s be kind, let’s be tolerant, let’s be supportive, let’s make a difference, let’s reach out…LET’S SIT TOGETHER!” initiative. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Livingston Lacrosse Senior Jason Scher Named Athlete of the Week

April 20, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston High School senior Jason Scher has been named as TAPinto Livingston’s Athlete of the Week after scoring 14 goals and contributing 15 assists in his last five games—bringing him to a total of 35 points so far this season.

With Scher leading the pack, the Lancers are 5-2 after winning their last five consecutive games. Scher scored three ...

One Free Class at Cycle Bar Livingston

April 23, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Get a free ride at Cycle Bar Livingston. Livingston’s premium indoor cycling facility invites the public to sign up for their first ride free.

Click HERE to see the full class schedule.

During this week only, Cycle Bar is also participating in the Livingston Fitness Crawl, offering five days of free classes through Friday.  

Cycle Bar ...

Livingston Fitness Crawl: Five Days of Free Classes at 12 Livingston Businesses

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The public is invited to enjoy one free class at as many of Livingston’s fitness businesses as they would like during this week’s Livingston Fitness Crawl, a Livingston Business Improvement District event, beginning on April 23 and continuing through April 27.

For five days, no purchase is necessary at the following locations:

BARRE3 ...

Full Pet Grooming Service 25% OFF

LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Cloud Canine Grooming Salon & Spa in Little Falls is open for business and owner and pet stylist Melissa DiRoma is offering 25% off a FULL GROOMING SERVICE for all new customers. Call (973) 837-8884 or visit http://cloudcaninesalon.com to schedule your appointment. Mention promo code TAP DOG for discount. 

About Cloud ...

Free Wellness Event at The Joint Chiropractic

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The public is invited to a "Wellness Event to Remember" at The Joint Chiropractic in West Caldwell on Thursday, April 19 from 7 p.m. to  9 p.m.

Guests will include:

Michael Piercy, owner of The Lab
Justyna Debski, owner of Revive Mind Body
Karen Caplan, owner of Nutrition Transitions

Join the ...

Luxury Facial Services 50% OFF

MILLBURN, NJ - DeAmour Salon & Spa is proud to announce its newest team member, Renee Rudikh, formerly of the famous Georgette Klinger Spa at the Short Hills Mall.

Rudikh has extensive experience and specializes in a plethora of facial styles including: deep pore cleansing/European, microdermabrasion with collagen, teenage, men's, back, LED and customized European ...

YMCA $0 Enrollment in April

LIVINGSTON, NJ - For the month of April, the West Essex YMCA is offer $0 enrollment. 

Take advantage of all that your local Y has to offer for the whole family!

Personal Training
Group Classes
Swimming
Camp
Childcare 
Low monthly membership
And much much more!...

Check out all that the Y has to offer HERE

About the West Essex YMCA:
The West Essex YMCA has ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_d9041d5fa031b1dc4d7b_best_8b56ef1b9860e2829bb1_teenagers_sitting_home-page-wlogo-750-500px

Wed, April 25, 10:00 AM

Estelle Finkel Center for Learning, Livingston

Upcoming 2018 Spring SAT and ACT Courses

Carousel_image_db004570084548800c6c_jww_pgp_headshot

Wed, April 25, 7:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity

Education

Carousel_image_da7952de040411cf07ec_35608_125981954105061_273496_n-1

Thu, April 26, 7:00 PM

Livingston High School Fitness & Wellness Center/Auxiliary Gym, Livingston

Livingston Public Schools Presents: Livingston ...

Education

Essex County Executive Announces Improvements to County Parks System

April 22, 2018

ORANGE, NJ - Using the tennis courts in Essex County Irvington Park as the backdrop, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced last week that the tennis courts in Irvington Park and Weequahic Park, and the basketball courts in Ivy Hill Park and Monte Irvin Orange Park will receive facelifts with new asphalt playing surfaces, equipment and fencing. The project is part of ...

Abilities Expo 2018 Offers Resources for People With Special Needs

April 22, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston’s Abilities Expo 2018 will be held on Sunday, April 29, from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Livingston High School. This family-friendly event showcases a variety of resources, products, services and technologies for people with special needs – all under one roof. The Expo is co-sponsored by Livingston Public Schools and the Livingston Advisory ...

Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 12, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.

 

Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...