NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 19, 2013 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Making a Difference
Maple Hill Fourth Grader Receives Disney Friends for Change Grant
DIAMOND BAR, CA—Two months ago, Srijani Krishman, a fourth grader at Maple Hill Elementary School, was moved to take action after seeing a spotlight on Disney’s Friends for Change while watching her favorite show Austin & Ally.
Srijani’s mom, Srividya Krishman, recalled her nine year-old exclaimed, “Mom this is so good!”
The service program offers children ages 5-18 an opportunity to become change-makers in their communities and around the world.
“And so we just applied,” she said. Together they completed an online application for a $1,000 grant on February 1.
Srijani’s service initiative is called “Take a Break and Break Free”. The anti-bullying club’s goal is to support all kids in the Diamond Bar community.
She picked the bullying theme for her club because of personal experience.
“Kids really need to know that bullying can really hurt you, other people, and your family. It really hurts,” she said.
Srijani hopes to make a real difference through the new club and the grant.
“I want to help people to stand up against bullying, and to protect other people from it, and help them speak up,” she said.
“The beauty is that Srijani wants to do this,” her mother said. She even went door to door campaigning in our community and passed out flyers to friends in their local park.
“There’s the spirit in her to do that,” her mom proudly added.
In mid March, the family received an email that the grant application had been approved. Disney has partnered with Youth Service of America (YSA) for funding of the program.
Srividya is designated as the program mentor and the funds have been allocated to the Maple Hill Elementary Community Club. YSA does not fund individuals.
“I provided a budget to the school on how we will spend the grant funds. Principal Nancy Stingley and I met and signed an agreement,” she said.
“What Srijani and her Club is doing, is giving kids a voice. Often times students remain silent when they are being harassed. Srijani’s Club is providing an additional forum where students can find a voice and speak-up and speak-out about bullying. We admire her initiative and her passion for this cause,” said Principal Stingley.
Srijani’s club was officially inaugurated at the City of Diamond Bar’s 24th birthday party on April 13.
“Our goal is to reach all the kids,” Sriividaya said.
The club’s first event will be held on April 27 at Pantera Park in Diamond Bar. It will be an anti-bullying art and writing competition for Maple Hill students only.
Service projects around the world will be held April 26-28 in celebration of 2013 Global Youth Service Day and the children who serve throughout the year. More information is available at www.ysa.org.
Srijani is currently developing a website with her dad to help community kids join the club. Please visit www.lacommunityties.com for more information.
“My friends think its cool and they ask me if there will be games on the website. I tell them ‘no’ but they can register and it’s free,” she said.
Maple Hill student Srijani Krishman has launched a new anti-bullying club as the recipient of a Disney Friends for Change grant. Shown: The club logo she created for the service initiative.
Maple Hill fourth grader Srijani Krishman is the recipient of a Disney Friends for Change grant.