Little Miss Victoria advocates for bullied children
April 12, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated April 11, 2012 at 11:12 p.m.
Taylor Bearden experienced bullying from other girls in her first-grade class at Chandler Elementary School last year.
"It made me feel sad. I didn't want to go back to school," Taylor said.
After talking to her mother and her teacher, Carla Schaefer, she got the courage to tell the other children not to bully her because it was not very nice.
Eventually, the bullying stopped, but the subject is not closed for Taylor.
As Little Miss Victoria, Taylor, an 8-year-old girl with big blue-green eyes and a blonde pony-tail, decided to use her platform to advocate for other children who experience bullying.
Taylor's platform encourages children not to be mean, tell teachers if they are being bullied and be a friend to those around them.
Since Taylor overcame being bullied, she has a new passion for school and learning - particularly art.
"As the Miss Victoria Court, we have a lot of fun talking on stage and just being ourselves. But it's not always about the bling," Taylor said. "I love to do art all the time. I make stuff out of paper a lot."
Taylor turned her love of art and her passion to end bullying into a coloring contest in the 18 public elementary schools in the VISD with a "no bullying message."
Initially, a prize was to be awarded to one winner from each school, but Taylor took the initiative to raise money to provide prizes for a child in each grade level at each school.
The coloring contest to decrease school bullying has not been an easy task. In addition to the regular Miss Victoria activities, such as appearances in parades and other events, Taylor has attended school board meetings and approached sponsors to support her project.
Two of Taylor's biggest sponsors are Dan and Bli Dugi of Cuero, who have written books for children about not bullying others.
The entire Miss Victoria Court plans to support Taylor at the award ceremony for her coloring contest Saturday at the Victoria Mall.