Have you ever gotten a paper transfer from a TTC bus or streetcar? If you have, maybe you’ve noticed that they print a number in big font on it to mark which day it’s valid for, and it’s the number for which day of the year it is (for instance, on December 15 as we post this, it’s 349). If you get them regularly, it can sometimes be a jarring reminder about the fleetingness of time. In early April, even though I feel like it’s just new into the year, it’s quite striking to see a three-digit number on there. And when the 200s roll around in mid-July, you can’t help but notice that the days are flying by. I have even considered, when someone asks when my birthday is, telling them it is “291”.

As we approach day 365 of the year and prepare for 2015 to pass into history, there are two other numbers on my mind which I find filling me with a lot of joy: FIFTEENX15. The FIFTEENX15 campaign saw Thinking Forward set a goal to be delivering our anti-bullying character education programs at 15 Toronto District School Board schools by the end of 2015. By day 334 (aka the end of November), schools 15 and 16 came on board, meaning that Thinking Forward officially surpassed the goal! This vision becoming a reality is something to celebrate, not only for us here at Thinking Forward, but all over our city, as students’ lives are impacted and they’re encouraged to build stronger communities.

54 classrooms will have been part of this initiative, meaning that 1153 students will have been involved in participatory learning designed to eradicate bullying. And it’s not just about the numbers; each and every one of those children matters, and the choices they make and the character they build is important. Having the opportunity to multiply Thinking Forward’s reach in 2015 was a great thing.

A new year is coming quickly – perhaps it’s your turn to be involved. Consider how you could volunteer your time or donate resources to partner in making this vital difference in our city’s schools. To those that are already partnering, we thank you so much and couldn’t do this without you. No one knows what 2016 will hold, but your generosity can help Thinking Forward continue its work to make bullying history, too.