Students learn foundational skills in anti-bullying presentation

École Our Lady of the Rosary School students participated in an interactive presentation and learned how to deal with bullying Nov. 19.

Kamryn Girard participates in a positive friendship

École Our Lady of the Rosary School students participated in an interactive presentation and learned how to deal with bullying Nov. 19.

Through the presentation, Abbey Cruikshank, public awareness co-ordinator for Central Alberta Refugee Effort (CARE), discussed topics such as friendship, the definition of bullying, where bullying can take place and the difference between bullying and disagreements.

By watching a Dr. Seuss video that emphasized not excluding others just because they are different, and by answering questions on what bullying is, students learned of the importance of kindness.

“The hope is that they will learn how to be kind in general,” Cruikshank said. “We hope that they will carry (kindness with) them through everything and every interaction that they have, and to always think about being kind first, and then deal with any situation that comes up.”

Cruikshank said she wants students to learn to recognize their feelings in a safe place so they will be equipped to deal with them in a positive way, and not just keep quiet about how they feel.

She also said bullying extends beyond school walls and is a community responsibility.

“I think taking care of the issues of bullying is a community effort,” Cruikshank said. “It’s a community issue and it needs to be dealt with in a community way. The school is a great resource and a great centre, but it is a community effort.”

The presentation ended with the recognition of Gr. 1 student Shay-Lynn Harkins for her kind gesture to another student recently.

When she noticed another girl alone and crying, Harkins invited the girl to play with her and her friends.

“I asked if I could help the little girl and she said yes,” Harkins said. “She wanted to be alone for a couple minutes, but then she came and played.”