"I'm so happy and grateful that the message I wrote about in my book Wonder just continues to spread," R.J. Palacio says of Gap's new initiative
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Jacob Tremblay is lending his young voice to an extremely important message.

The 10-year-old actor, who plays the lead in the upcoming film adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s children’s novel Wonder, stars in a new back-to-school campaign by GapKids called “Forward with.”

According to a press release, the campaign is “a celebration of progress” focused on “extending the idea of ‘dressing’ beyond clothing to the traits and behaviors that will lead to kids’ success. It “shines a light on community heroes who are inspiring kids through confidence, focus, creativity and kindness.”

“Forward with” features four short films. Gap partnered with Lionsgate on the final film in the series, titled “Forward with Kindness,” which stars Tremblay and Palacio.

“I’m so happy and grateful that the message I wrote about in my book Wonder just continues to spread,” Palacio says in a voice-over as Tremblay reads from the book, which is about a young boy with facial deformities and touches on lessons surrounding bullying, friendship and self-acceptance.

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“It shows me that this is a lesson we all want to learn from — that the world wants to be kind,” adds Palacio in the “Forward with Kindness” clip.

The campaign — which also includes the films “Forward with Confidence,” “Forward with Focus” and “Forward with Creativity” — targets the “back-to-school” time of year for a very special reason, according to Gap‘s chief marketing officer Craig Brommers.

“When you think about it, kids don’t actually go back to school, they go forward in their life,” he said in the press release. “The real-life stories that we are sharing through the video series are emotional, they are optimistic, and they are what Gap is all about.”


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Alongside the campaign, Lionsgate and GapKids are participating in the #ChooseKind movement leading up to the Wonder release, which will include a contest where kids can design T-shirtsthat visualize kindness and inclusion. The winning shirts will be sold at Gap.com and in participating GapKids stores beginning on Nov. 13: World Kindness Day.

“Step 1: Be kind. Step 2: Keep being kind,” says Tremblay in a second video for the campaign, taking viewers through a too-sweet “tutorial” of kindness. “Step 3: Even though it’s hard, even though some people may be mean, be even kinder. Step 4: That’s it! Just return to Step 1 and repeat.”

Wonder hits theaters nationwide Nov. 17.