ST. CHARLES – The documentary "Bully" did not arrive at locations in the Tri-Cities during its theatrical run last year. But those who want to view it in a public setting will have at least two opportunities, starting Wednesday night at the Arcada Theatre in downtown St. Charles.
Changing Children's Worlds Foundation will present two screenings of the documentary – the first at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Arcada, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. Organizers say another showing is planned for Sept. 29.
The screening will be free, but the organization is asking for donations of $3 for students and $5 for adults.
Kimberly Svevo-Cianci, the co-founder, president and executive director of Changing Children's Worlds, said the organization sought to put on the presentation because "by addressing the issue of bullying with students and parents and teachers, we can raise awareness about the negative impact on so many children in our communities today, and hopefully reduce the trauma and heartache of these children, so that they have a chance for a more positive life experience."
The documentary is notable for including footage of actual bullying taking place on a school bus, as well as interactions between families and school administrators on the subject.
She said the key is helping bullies understand that "there are better, alternative ways for social interactions to take place, where everybody wins."
Among the sponsors are Kaneland School District 302 and Knights Against Bullying, a group formed last year to address bullying in the school district. Kaneland counselor Patrick Trapp will speak after the movie is shown. Svevo-Cianci said the movie has been edited, so it is appropriate for those of all ages. She said it should be seen by as many people as possible.
Leigh Ann Reusche, a member of the Knights Against Bullying group, the Kindness Campaign and PEAK for Kids, praised the cooperation with Kaneland.
"We're delighted that Kaneland High School is going to be working with Changing Children's World on this," Reusche said. "It's a good partnership, and Patrick is very passionate about kids. And that will be a great opportunity for them to work together."