PEACE Week at OLF
This week at Our Lady of Fatima school we are celebrating Peace week. The focus today and every day is to look at what we are doing right to help create Peace in our school and to focus on how we can continue to make this school an amazing place where everyone feels like they belong and are safe.
It is a reality that students are bullied both in and out of the classroom, in the hallways and outside on the playground. Bullying is repeated aggressive behaviour by a student where the behaviour is intended to cause harm, fear or distress to another individual.
Almost 40% of school aged students reported being bullied and 80% of Canadian students feel that bullying is a problem in their schools. So, at Our Lady of Fatima, students came up with a solution so that everyone feels welcome, safe and loved.
A couple of things that we do to build community is by all the clubs and extra-curricular programs we run. Here is a list of just some of the programs:
– Sports Teams – Volleyball, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer
– Games Club
– Tech Club
– Coding Club
– Drama Club
– Comic Book Club
– Battle of the Books teams
The new program that we will be starting at OLF is the PALS program. PALS are Playground Activity Leaders in Schools. Their main messages are: Physical activity is fun, Everyone is welcome and There is always room for one more.
Our grade 5 students will be organizing and running activities in the back field for Grade 1,2 and 3 students during the lunch recess. We believe that this is one big step towards making sure that no child is left alone outside.
As you know here at Our Lady of Fatima, we always want to include others and if we see someone who needs a friend, we need to include them. Sometimes it’s hard to know who needs someone to play with as well as who needs just to talk to someone, but we now have a solution to those problems!
The Student Council has been working on a VERY exciting secret project over the last few weeks that we would like to share with all of you.
THE KELSO BENCH AND THE BUDDY BENCH!
Kelso the Frog teaches students how to solve small problems on their own using one of the 9 Choices from the Kelso Wheel. Every child is strong enough and smart enough to solve small problems on their own and capable of becoming a peacemaker.
So, if you and your friend are fighting or arguing – if feelings are being hurt, people are embarrassed or annoyed, you can take a seat on the Kelso Bench and talk out your problems!
Just remember friends, if you have a BIG problem that you can’t solve on your own, that might be scary or dangerous, go to a trusted adult for help!
Our second bench is called the Buddy Bench. The Buddy Bench started when a boy named Christian saw a special bench in a playground in Germany that was used to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship. In the Spring of 2013, he asked his principal if they could have one at his own school.
He knew that there were some kids who felt lonely at recess and he thought this would put an end to that! His idea was that if someone sits on the Buddy bench it would let others know that they need a friend to play with. Other kids could then invite them to join in and play.
The local newspaper did a story on the buddy bench and it caught the attention of the media. OLF can now be part of that movement of peace and kindness too!
The 1 rule of the Kelso Bench is:
- Only sit on the Kelso Bench when you need to work out a problem or need to talk to a friend about something that is bothering you
Some rules for the Buddy Bench are:
- Only sit on the bench if you want someone to play with or if you need a friend
- If you see someone sitting on the bench – go and talk to them and invite them to join in an activity.
- If you are sitting on a bench and someone invites you to play – Say “Yes”
- If a teacher on duty sees a student on the bench – they can help you find a friend too!
We each have an opportunity every day to show empathy and heal someone’s heart.
These benches are just one more way that we can make someone’s day a whole lot brighter by being a caring friend, by solving our problems or by including a friend in play.
Thank you for being part of our PEACE movement at OLF and promoting Kindness and Empathy for everyone.
Written by: Mary Anne, Hannah, Shayla and Ella
Stop Bullying Information Sheet