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“In the past weeks since your visit, it has been clear to see that the students at Glenbrook were inspired by your performance and message. I've seen lines from your songs quoted on the whiteboards in classrooms, heard students singing 'Bigger Than That' to themselves in the hallways, and used elements of your presentation as starting points in my own Health and Life Skills lessons. It's always wonderful to show students a real example of someone who is following their dreams, and inspire them to achieve their goals. Thanks again for a great presentation and musical performance!”
Brett Kowalchuk, Music Teacher
Glenbrook School, Calgary Board of Education
“I just wanted to send a Huge Thank You out to you guys for an amazing show yesterday!! I know the elementary loved it. I taught all of the junior high 7-9 yesterday afternoon and asked what they thought and I got rave reviews! I also asked what one thing was that they took away from the performance and was given the answer of "believe in yourself" first from both classes! They also said, "being an upstander," "never give up," and "don't let others talk you down." I think this is huge in our society of victimization and entitlement. I think you are providing all of these students with such a blessing by sharing your message.
I had several junior highs ask if we could have you back every year as they thought it was important for everyone to hear and be reminded of. The staff also rave reviewed the message and thanked me for arranging it. It was an honour to host you at CKCS and hopefully down the road we will see you again!”
Alisa Glasier, Teacher
Christ-King Catholic School, Stettler, AB
"Ryan's performance was a great way to begin our school year. While his message echoed the values and programs in our school, his delivery and musical accompaniment allowed for current students to apply the message and knowledge in a different way. It also ignited discussion among our newest students and allowed them to catch up to the culture of our school. We encourage our students to turn from bystanders to heroes, and I believe being "Bigger Than That" means taking stage and being the first on a scene and standing up to others. In addition, his "Hey Ashley" song inspired students that despite the difficulties that can accompany the adolescent years, they can get the ultimate last word and making something big of themselves. Overall, the performance and message were enjoyed across all grades and staff members of our school."
Shaune Beatty, Principal
Yorkdale Central School, Yorkton, SK
“Ryan, thank you for coming to St. Francis of Assisi Middle School and presenting to our students from Grades 6 to 9 on being BiggerThanThat!. Your message about putting goals into action and rising above negativity in their lives is a relevant and important topic for youth. We appreciated having your music and lyrics prior to the production as well as relevant lesson plans to ensure that students were prepared and engaged with the message behind your music. Thanks again for spreading an important message about acceptance and tolerance through an engaging media such as your music.”
Testimonial C/O St. Francis of Assisi Middle School, Red Deer, AB
"Good work Ryan! Your bullying prevention message is well done."
Don Drone, Director of Education
Wellington Catholic District School Board
“Ryan Laird is an amazing young man who has followed his dreams to his own fame and glory. Along the way he had obstacles to overcome including those who laughed at his dreams. He held his head high and persevered and now through his award winning music - Ryan challenges others to do the same regardless of what their goals may be. Ryan brought an incredible and high-powered show to Kirkness - and everyone who saw it (students, staff, and parents was left with a great message of strive to be what you want to be - and don't let others deter you from your path.”
Ed Butler, Principal
Kirkness School, Edmonton, AB
“Ryan performed in four Flagstaff Schools in East Central Alberta in late February and early March of 2017. His performances were geared toward kindergarten to Grade six and each School was thrilled with the performance. FIRST received very good feedback for Schools and parents, especially the parents of young girls. The music Ryan sang really helped the performance and the message. Respect yourself, be unique and like yourself and others.
We will have Ryan back in future years and FIRST highly recommends his performance to all Schools, it is so nice to have the ability to connect with children and leave a message for future generations.”
Testimonial C/O Flagstaff’s Initiative to Relationship and Spousal Trauma
“Thank you for coming! Ryan made quite an impact.”
Donna Monks, Social Worker
Bentley School, Bentley, AB
“The Students and Staff at C.W. Sears in Tofield, AB LOVED the concert! They thought Ryan's Song,s and the interaction with the students was fantastic. We would highly recommend this tour to all schools! I really enjoyed having the songs and lesson plans ahead of time so that I could teach them to the students!”
Cheryl Laxdal, Music Teacher
C. W. Sears, Tofield, AB
“As all schools work diligently at addressing and combating bullying and bullying behaviours in school, on the playground and in the community, it is always good to bring a new fresh face to the issues and someone who can speak from experience. Ryan provided our school with this very opportunity! We kicked off our school year with a huge campaign and a promise to our students that we would work together. Ryan and his Bigger Than That assembly truly inspired and supported our students in a way that helped them to feel their voice will be heard.”
Melinda Brown, Community School Coordinator
Confederation Park Community School, Saskatoon, SK
"Wow – what can we say?! Ryan Laird blew our expectations out of the water. His super high-energy and interactive show, great music, and kid-accessible presentation kept our students fully engaged. Even more importantly, his personal stories, natural way of connecting (both with individual students and with the whole audience), and ‘cool factor’ made his important bullying prevention and youth empowerment messages really resonate with the students. We’ll be talking about Ryan’s concert for a long, long time.
We highly recommend Ryan Laird’s BiggerThanThat! concert to every school audience. Thank you, Ryan!"
Benita Baerg, on behalf of the Tuc-el-Nuit Parent Advisory Committee, Oliver, BC
"We were fortunate to have Ryan attend our school in October 2016. I am the Principal of an inner city school of about 340 kids in Nanaimo, BC, Kindergarten to Grade 7. I have to say Ryan had all of the students engaged for over an hour. I was a little hesitant to have our Kindergarten students in there for that long, however Jaylie assured me it would be find and she was spot on! Our students were part of the band and his program and message was delivered in a way students could easily relate. From a scheduling and technical standpoint there was very little work I had to do, Ryan had most everything he needed! Ryan and Jacqueline were professional throughout. I would recommend Ryan for your school."
Robbie Dhillon, Principal
Park Avenue Community School, Nanaimo, BC
"Ryan did a terrific job, entertaining us and educating us. I was very impressed with the way that he wove his message into his songs. I also loved his focus on the students dreams and goals. His message rang through with everyone. Thank you for arranging this on our behalf."
Tarj Mann, Principal
Braefoot Elementary School, Victoria, BC
"We were so pleased to have Ryan Laird perform at Bayview. From a principal's perspective it was so easy working with Jaylie to arrange for the visit-communication was prompt and professional. Ryan and Jaylie were so respectful of custodial staff and set-up and take-down went off without a hitch. Our students (Kinder to grade 4) really liked the assembly and were thrilled when Ryan made the time to visit 6 homeroom classes after the assembly to sign autographs."
Vivian Bright, Principal
Bayview Public School, Ottawa, ON
"Ryan Laird was a huge hit with Westwood PS. His strong stage presence, great music, and engaging stories about his childhood experiences with bullying were all well received by our students and staff. Ryan is very good with kids and knows how to capture their attention and keep them hooked. We hope to have him back again!"
Mike Anderson, Vice Principal
Westwood Public School, ON
"The experience was great! The students felt like they were at a real country rock concert. The kids loved every minute of it and were so engaged. I was so impressed with the way Ryan interacted with our students. He made some of our most challenging students feel so special that day. I think the message to stand up for what is right and make good choices is starting to resonate in our school and Ryan's message was a great starting point for us. Like anything to start a movement takes time but listening to Ryan's message is a great place to start. Thanks for coming!"
Sherry Storrey-Perchaluk, Principal
Ridgeway Public School, Fort Erie, ON
"It was great. Thank you so much for coming to Naahii. The performance was a favourite of many and enhanced our strong PBS philosophy at Naahii.
This show was a favourite of many students and staff due to its message and interactive nature. Students were given a voice and a chance to shine on stage with Ryan. They appreciated that he took the time to sign autographs and take pictures after the show."
Maryanne Patterson, Principal
Naahii Ridge Public School, Chatham-Kent, ON
“It would be hard to find a presentation more engaging for middle or high school students. Ryan Laird held his audience for the entire 60 minute presentation. He was well spoken, provided current and relevant information, and got our students thinking about how their choices affect those around them. Then he walked our school through a variety of ways they can take action. Highly Recommended!”
Jeff Duyndam, Vice-Principal
Shoreline Middle School, Victoria, BC
"During the 2013 Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week, Ryan put on an amazing performance in our Gym that truly motivated and inspired our students from Jk to Grade 8. Our students are still singing, "Hey Ashley!""
Kellie Angerilli, Principal
St. John Brebeuf Catholic School, Erin, ON
"The stories he told made the students feel like they weren't alone in how they feel at times. The students (and I) LOVED the audience participation in his songs (singing along, clapping). Kids thought it was fun, I liked how it kept their attention and created a community climate in the gym."
Shawn Daniher, ELA and Cosmetology Teacher
Forest Lawn High, Calgary, AB
"It was a nice mix of good inspirational messages/shared experiences delivered through music."
"I thought he was great - I was particularly impressed at how well he got students involved and how well he talked with them and managed their involvement so that it was a positive experience for them and for their peers. My impression was that he was authentic, down to earth, talented, had a great message and made a great connection with our students."
"Ryan did an amazing job getting the kids involved and making them feel like rock stars!!!!"
Feedback from College Heights Staff, Guelph, ON
"Thank you so much for allowing our students to enjoy Ryan's performance last week. His ability to involve students in his presentation made the experience enjoyable as well as meaningful to our students. Ryan's message to the students coincides with what our students are taught by their school community on a daily basis; work hard to achieve your dreams and don't' allow anyone to stand in your way. Like the staff at Delton, Ryan believes anything is possible if you put your mind to it and he presented that idea to our students in an upbeat and positive manner."
Cathie Bush, B. Ed., M. Ed. Assistant Principal
Delton School, Edmonton, AB
"Ryan was a pleasure to have as a guest in our school. From his arrival onward, he was friendly, energetic and demonstrated great professionalism. During his presentation to our school, he was engaging and purposefully in involving students in his presentation. He looked out at the crowd and noticed which student or students might not be as engaged, and had them become involved. His message was absolutely wonderful and for the ages of students in my school (elementary aged), it was perfect. He discussed bullying and how this makes an individual feel and he also discussed and brought great attention to the term “upstander”, which he explained was to have people step up, speak up and advocate against those who may engage in bully-type behaviors. His messages were loud, clear and certainly relevant. Ryan’s presentation was interactive as he used a combination of speaking/listening and song as mediums with which to impart his messages. Students were very engaged and connected with Ryan. Some of our students who have had some struggles in their lives have mentioned his name to me a few times and discussed his presentation at our school – both a wonderfully impactful and lasting memory for all! I would definitely recommend him as a person to come disseminate a message to students of all ages. Job well done, Ryan!"
Janice Graham, Principal
Robert Kemp Turner Elementary School, Dartmouth, NS
“Thank you Ryan...we loved having you and everyone raved about the performance and presentation.”
Patricia Martyn, Principal
Windsor Park School, Edmonton Public Schools
"View Royal Elementary hosted Ryan Laird with his BiggerThanThat! Program last Friday. His high energy, positive messaging was appreciated but students and staff alike. Ryan’s presentation had a wonderful balance of music and stories that was a fantastic way to kick off our month around bullying prevention with stories about rising above negativity and being an upstander. Thanks for a great hour of entertainment."
Sarah Winkler, Vice Principal
View Royal Elementary, Victoria, BC
“Everyone wants to feel like they are being listened to and included within their community. Ryan does an amazing job of including everyone in the audience during his presentation, makes everyone feel valued for their unique ideas and encourages participants to always strive toward reaching personal goals and not let anyone stand in their way. Ryan’s kind words and thoughtful music keeps his audience engaged and involved. Thank you Ryan for visiting CLOC for the second time. We hope to have you back again soon!”
Marnie Salonius, BA - Manager, Resource Development & Public Relations
Community Living Oshawa/Clarington
"Ryan came to visit our school in Rocky Mountain House as part of his National Bullying Prevention and Youth Empowerment Campaign. He performed for over 430 Pre-K to grade 8 students. Through his songs and personal stories, he talked about setting goals and rising above negativity to reach them. His music, song lyrics, and personal testimony really strike a chord with children on a topic that just never seems to go away. Ryan is a super artist and entertainer with a great message, and he delivers it so wonderfully. The students were tuned in and entertained from the beginning of the performance to the end. We've had many presentations on this topic before, this ranks among the very best."
Dean Osczevski, Counsellor
St. Matthew Catholic School, Rocky Mountain House, AB
"Ryan's presentation encouraged students to embrace the things they love and to not give up on something just because others don't approve. He told personal stories that were relevant to kids. His audience participation and connections he made with students is what made the students feel comfortable to openly talk about bullying. He encouraged students to go after their dream and to set goals along the way. This was a performance that the whole audience enjoyed.
Kay Fawcett, Principal
Amabel Sauble Community School, Sauble Beach ON
"Ryan was great and the kids loved his singing and kind gentle approach."
Debra Mckenzie, Forest Lawn High
Thank you for visiting Kenilworth Public School. Our staff, students and parent guests loved both your message and your performance! We look forward to having you back next year.
Nancy Mundle, Principal
Kenilworth Public School, ON
"That was such a great night for us. Thank you so much for bringing your message to our school. My boys came home and told their dad all about how you were bullied in school and how you overcame the rejections and followed your dreams. They heard the message loud and clear and I am so glad that we were able to get so many families out to hear it.
On behalf of the Terry Fox School Council, I want to thank you for your time and your message. I certainly hope to see you again in the future.
Cathy Butler Tedford, President of Parent Council
Terry Fox PS, Cobourg, ON
"Awesome day yesterday! Thank you so much for taking the time to come to London to see us and share your message. What an incredible assembly. We all felt empowered and inspired. I will find a special place to put your letter to the students!"
Kim Jones, Parent Advisory Council
Kensal Park French Immersion School, London, ON
"Ryan was able to connect really well to students by inviting them to participate in his performance in a really interactive and engaging way. His message about pursuing one's dreams was well-received by the students, and they were very interested in meeting him and asking him lots of questions after his performance. He is a talented musician and he provided our school with a great afternoon!"
Anissa Hamdon-Morison, Curriculum Coordinator
Dan Knott School, Edmonton, AB
“His message was inspiring and his music was fantastic! It was a very positive presentation. The presentation was great – one of the best we have had at our school. Truly enjoyed by all!”
Teresa Leisle, School Administrator
Chaplin School, Chaplin, SK
“Outstanding! Ryan Laird proved to be Bigger Than That when he joined Maude Burke School! Music and a message from the heart! A powerful message for our youth, words to live by, and a crowd inclusive and entertaining event….are but a few words to describe Ryan’s presentation. Bigger Than That ranks as one of our top presentations to date! Thank you Ryan!”
R. Steciuk, Principal
Maude Burke School, Melfort, SK
"Having been intrigued by an interview that I had heard on the radio in October 2013, I immediately looked for information about Ryan Laird when I arrived at school that morning. Ryan had been discussing how he had been bullied when he was growing up and how he has written songs in an attempt to deliver his anti-bullying message. He indicated that he now performs concerts around anti-bullying. I quickly learned a fair bit about him and decided to bring his name forward at our next Safe Schools meeting. Unfortunately, I was not able to get him to come to our school last year but I was successful in having him perform at Peninsula Shores District School on April 16th, 2015.
Ryan delivered a strong message in a fast, fun, up-beat sort of way. His calm, gentle, kind personality was felt by all. He included audience participation and he interacted very well with the students. It was a truly inspiring performance and his message rang out clearly – Believe in your dreams. Do NOT let a bully/bullies affect or deter you. Be “Bigger than That”!"
Mary Whitelock, Grade 5 Teacher
Peninsula Shores District School, Wiarton, ON
"Working with Ryan Laird and his Bigger Than That! team was a pleasure. Ryan lent his story and music to the "RCMPTalks: A national conversation on Bullying and Cyberbullying". Over 100 youth from across Canada's east coast participated (and numerous others live streamed the event) to watch Ryan engage and motivate young Canadians to stand up to bullying and to follow their dreams. The response from youth, teachers, police officers and those following along on social media (#RCMPTalks) were encouraging and positive. If you get a chance for Ryan to play at your school, I would certainly recommend it."
Louis Zuniga, Manager, National Youth Strategy, RCMP
"Ponsonby PS was fortunate by hosting a concert featuring C&W singer Ryan Laird during Anti-Bullying Week. Using music Ryan was able to engage and entertain 160 primary/junior students for almost an hour of fast moving fun. He worked students into his presentation. His anti bullying message related through personal stories were thought provoking. His show was a big hit."
A. Henshaw, Principal
Ponsonby Public School, ON
"Many students were impressed with Ryan's presentation and were encouraged to follow up on their own singing paths. The music teacher who was here that day expressed that Ryan gently dealt with the topic of bullying during the children's discussion and he was well received by most of the children. Thanks again."
Lori Bennett, Music Teacher
Cascade Heights Elementary, Burnaby, BC
"AWESOME AFTERNOON.......SUPER WELL DONE.......TOUCHING, ENTERTAINING, REAL LIFE, AUTHENTIC, ENJOYABLE, TALENTED."
Katherine Szo, Principal
Harvey Elementary, Harvey Station, NB
“Ryan entertained all our students from Kindergarten to Grade 6. He had a great message and engaged the entire gymnasium. The hour went by very quickly and kids wanted more. Thanks, Ryan.”
Tim Johnson, Vice-Principal
Ecole Connaught School, Medicine Hat, AB
“Ryan’s presentation was a near perfect mix of presenting a meaningful message in an entertaining and interactive way. His song lyrics really hit home with today’s generation of students. It was a privilege to have him perform in our school.”
Jim Johnson, Head of Guidance & Physical Education
Kapuskasing DHS, Kapuskasing, ON
"The event was fabulous! Ryan has a natural ability to connect with youth through his songs and stories. Our students were inspired by his message to be "bigger than that" and to not let negative situations or negative people stop you from going after your goals. Ryan's music is uplifting; the tempo kept many students clapping, tapping and singing along. All in all, it was an excellent opportunity for our students to have spend time with Ryan."
Dennis Hawkins-Bogle, Principal
Correlieu Secondary School, Quesnel, BC
"A big thank-you to Ryan Laird and his “Bigger Than That Presentation”. A tremendous musician with a personal story that is real and inspiring to students to not only learn how to cope with difficult situations but use them positively to fulfill one’s tremendous. Enjoyable, interactive and thought provoking it was a pleasure to have him at our school."
Randy Kerr, Principal
Tisdale Middle & Secondary School, Tisdale, SK
"The presentation went very well, the students were engaged and the school was just buzzing afterwards. Ryan sent a powerful message and the students responded to it. He was interactive with the kids and encouraged them to follow their dreams, be themselves and be kind to one another. Thank you so much for sending this powerful and positive message to youth, I am so happy our school was able to be a part of it. Good luck with your journey and I hope your messages continue to spread as the opportunity to impact youth is endless."
Chelsey Ambrosio, Behaviour and Learning Assistance
Highlands School, Edmonton AB
"We really enjoyed having Ryan perform his BiggerThanThat! show at our school in November. His anti-bullying presentation was a perfect fit for our annual Pink Week. It was also great that he had a chance to visit with the individual elementary classes to say hi and take pictures. We appreciate your efforts and thank Ryan for visiting our little island."
Carla Ward, Teacher
Grand Manan Community School, Grand Manan Island, NB
We were thrilled with Ryan’s performances for our students. He carefully tailored his comments and examples to meet the development needs of our two groups of students (one Grade 3 - 5 group and one Kindergarten - Grade 2 group). He had our students rocking along and singing his song “Bigger Than That”. What a great message for our students just prior to our Pink Shirt Day! Thanks, Ryan!"
Holly Holt, Principal
Oaklands Elementary School, Victoria, BC
"Our school loved the visit. We play the music regularly. Your visit inspired our staff and students to create their own stars with their dreams.
It was the best decision having you come."
Sarah Calvert, Principal
St. Gerard Catholic School, Mississauga, ON
"It was a wonderful performance. The teachers from the younger grades especially appreciated it because there was no time for the little ones to get fidgety. A nice balance of talking and singing. The interaction was great. A lot of children got to participate."
Renee Armstrong, Grade 5/Music Teacher
Montgomery Street School, Fredericton, NB
"The students from John Barnett really enjoyed his songs and messages about bullying. He did a wonderful job of engaging the students."
Lorraine Goruk, Principal
John Barnett School, Edmonton, AB
"Ryan was terrific and was extremely interactive with our students.
We thoroughly enjoyed having him."
Jody Dennis, Teacher
Poplar Ridge School, Red Deer ,AB
"Eastbrook School, grades K to 6 in Brooks Alberta was very pleased to have Ryan Laird put on a super performance on March 18, 2015. He had a very meaningful interactive Anti-Bullying message as well he is a very talented singer and musician. We were very impressed that he stayed after to sign autographs and just visit with the students. Thank you Ryan, we hope to see you again someday!"
Clive Joseph, Principal
Eastbrook School, Brooks, AB
"Ryan, I want to thank you so much for your time and wonderful performance. Clearly the students enjoyed your presentation and felt very comfortable which was demonstrated by the number of students who so willingly shared their dreams and goals with their junior high peers. It was a real pleasure as a principal to see this group of very high achievers having so much fun! Thank you!"
Jane Lagace, Principal
St. Rose Junior H.S., Ontario
"Thank you, Ryan, for all you are doing and supporting our youth!! You met my daughter at Schuler School. in Alberta. You made a HUGE impact on her and she has not stopped talking about it! Not to mention the enormous boost in confidence she came home with!
Jenn Beck, Parent from Schuler School, AB
"Ryan was a big hit with students and staff!"
Rosalyn Nickerson, Principal
St.Patrick's School, Saint John, NB
"On behalf of the students, staff and entire school community, I would like to thank you for making Louisbourg a stop on your tour.
The message Ryan brought to us was inspiring and motivating. All students were engaged, and Ryan’s sincerity and humility put students at ease to share their own messages for standing up for themselves and each other, and following their own dreams.
I will be recommending the Bigger Than That! presentation to my colleagues – a great message with a great performer and person."
Paul Gartland, Principal
George D. Lewis School, Louisbourg, NS
“Ryan’s energetic and positive message was just what we needed to kick off our school year, and his message of being ‘Bigger Than That’ has really caught on here. He not only plays and sings beautifully, but connects with students easily. Thanks for your visit, Ryan!”
Eryn Smit, Principal
Zone Township Central School, Bothwell, ON
"Ryan is an amazing singer! He performed at our school for our students 2 years ago, and we were delighted to have him back to perform at our Mini We Day this past May. We like Ryan so much that we hope to have him return again in September to kick off our school year. Our students and staff thoroughly enjoyed his visit. Ryan shares stories of his past experiences that are powerful and relatable to students. During and after Ryan's performance student have the opportunity to interact with him. He even recruits students to join him on stage as back up musicians. We look forward to having him back in our school."
Tiffany Clark, Resource Teacher
Sir Robert Borden Junior High School, Dartmouth, NS
"Ryan talks to the kids, not at them. He encourages them to share and support one another in reaching their goals, and to not give up on their dreams because anything can happen. He is personable, and patient. He is a talented musician and speaker".
Tina Buott, Staff Member
Sir Robert Borden Junior High School, Dartmouth, NS
"Ryan delivered a powerful message to our students, yet kept it light hearted and fun, the energy level in the room was incredible. Our students walked away feeling great, yet the points were driven home.
Feel free to tweak it any way you want to make me sound a little more intelligent than I am, lol.
thanks again we loved the show, as did the Laxdal family, with music being such a big part of who Heather was, they truly loved it."
Roby Sharpe, Principal
Yorkton Regional High School, Yorkton, SK