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Croton 'Mannequin Challenge' Has Students Freezin' For A Reason: Kindness

Students at the Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School in Croton-on-Hudson take part in a  "Mannequin Challenge" to illustrate acts of kindness. They were helped out by D.A.R.E. officer Robert Leonard and two of his colleagues.
Students at the Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School in Croton-on-Hudson take part in a "Mannequin Challenge" to illustrate acts of kindness. They were helped out by D.A.R.E. officer Robert Leonard and two of his colleagues. Photo Credit: Contributed

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – We’ve all heard of folks dumping ice water on their heads to raise money for medical research, now some in Croton-on-Hudson are finding a new way to be freezin’ for a reason -- promoting kindness.

Students at the Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School recently plunged into the latest video trend sweeping the Internet with their own “Mannequin Challenge.”

The craze has had everyone from rock stars (Jon Bon Jovi) and athletes (the entire women's gymnastics team at Brigham Young University)  to television host and comic Ellen DeGeneres and former presidential candidate, Chappaqua's own Hillary Clinton, standing like statues while the cameras roll and music plays.

The Croton youngsters, while taking part in one of the school’s Advisory Program sessions, were asked to discuss the quote: “When given the choice between being right, or being kind, choose kind.”

(The quote is attributed to Wayne W. Dyer, a self-help author and motivational speaker.)

The students came up with the idea to take the “Mannequin Challenge” as a way to illustrate what it means to be kind, and what impact kindness has on those on the receiving end.

With the help of the local D.A.R.E. Officer Thomas Leonard and two of his colleagues, the children stood stock-still “in kind, or reflective, poses,” said teacher Lauren Scollins.

One child holds an outstretched hand to another who has apparently fallen, while others "high-five" or share learning materials.

Playing in the background was “Stand by You,” a song by Rachel Platten.

Its lyrics were more than apropos: “Hands, put your empty hands in mine/ And scars, show me all the scars you hide/And hey, if your wings are broken/ Please take mine so yours can open, too/'Cause I'm gonna stand by you."

According to Wikipedia, the "Mannequin Challenge" phenomenon was started by students in Jacksonville, Fla. in October.

To see two short videos of their challenge, visit the school district’s website by clicking here.

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