VOICES: Old Enough to Wear Orange and Make a Difference


Despite some critics saying ten-year-olds can’t make a difference, fifth-graders Carter Anderson, Henry Gibbs and Liz Peyton aren’t backing down. After the tragic Parkland school shooting in February, these Alexandria students decided they needed to get involved and make a difference.

Read transcript.

Wear Orange on June 1-3 to Show Support for Anti-Violence Efforts

Last March, the Alexandria City School Board approved a Resolution Against Gun Violence following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. This week, we invite you to join us in wearing orange on Friday, June 1 in a show of support of National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

As part of our commitment to providing a safe learning and working environment, students, educators and staff are invited to wear orange in honor of those who have lost their lives to violence during Wear Orange Weekend, June 1-3.

Orange is the color that was chosen by friends to honor the life of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old high school student from the south side of Chicago who was shot and killed in January 2013. On June 2, 2015, the day Hadiya would have turned 18, a group of her friends chose to wear orange to remember her life.

They chose orange because it is the color that hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. What started as a way to celebrate one life has evolved into a movement to raise awareness, show support and inspire action to help end violence.

So add a splash of orange to your outfit June 1-3, and give a nod of support to others who do the same.

VoicesBringing You the Voices That are the Heart and Soul of ACPS

VOICES is an audio series that shares the stories of our students, families and staff — in their words and in their voices. Everyone’s story is different. Success looks different for every person. VOICES celebrates these differences and successes by sharing the stories that are the heart and soul of ACPS. Listen to other stories in this series and subscribe to the VOICES podcast.



It was the day after Valentine’s …


… and I went downstairs to eat breakfast …

(Henry) … I heard about this parkland shooting …

(Liz) … my mom had the news on …

(Henry) … 17 were killed and I’m like, oh no!

(Liz) Why would someone do this?

(Henry) My mom, behind me, just started tearing up.

(Liz) When I went to school it turned out that two people had wanted to start a walkout.

(Henry) We had this meeting at one of our friend’s house and we started talking about all the stuff we can do.

(Liz) They had inspired me to stand up and say something about it.

(Henry) There was a talk about gun violence and they put up a microphone. Well, I wanted to make a difference, so I went up there too. It was a little scary being up there in front of a thousand people.

(Carter) I spoke and just seeing people clap made me feel like we were making a difference.

(Liz) When we did the walkout, there was just like this vibe that everyone knew that we don’t have to stay silent because of our age. After the walkout I realized that I could do more so I spoke at a rally. When I finished I felt like this made me happy that I had spoke.

(Henry) This reporter before we did our walkout that one day, she had gotten my picture and wrote down some stuff. And, then the next day, my mom showed me the Twitter post that she did, and of course I just started scrolling down to look at comments and then read some great things like “awesome job,” “keep on moving forward” and then I read some terrible things like “ten-year-olds can’t make a difference.” I’ve heard way more about what kids have been doing. We’re making more of a difference than you are!

(Carter) Now that I’ve done something about it, I feel like I want to do more.

(Liz) Now I kind of think that I want to be a politician.

(Henry) And I’m going to keep on fighting for what’s right.

ACPS, George Mason, Highlights, VOICES