Elementary students in Slave Lake recently learned about bullying with a focus on kindness.
Anti-Bullying Week was November 15 to 19th. ‘One Kind Word’ was the theme at E.G. Wahlstrom and C.J. Schurter elementary schools in Slave Lake. E.G.W. has Grades 4 to 6. C.J. has Kindergarten to Grade 3.
“We promote anti-bullying,” says Cristabel Encinas, wellness coach at E.G.W. The goal is “trying to promote the good stuff. We want to focus on the good things we are doing. (If you) focus on the good things, you forget about the bad things.”
Encinas presented to the E.G.W. classes, about the difference between having a conflict with someone and being bullied. The students sometimes have trouble identifying the difference between the two.
“As an adult, we have conflicts all the time,” she told the students. The presentation included steps to deal with a conflict in a healthy manner.
“Students shared paper flowers with their classmates with ‘one kind word’ of their choice written on the flowers,” says Cassidy Wood, wellness coach at C.J. “Students also had a chance to brainstorm and decide together what word/phrase they think represents kindness and these were collected to create a bulletin board that presented all of their ideas together. We are a ‘Kindness Counts’ school so the ideas around anti-bullying are practiced every day through our school’s values of kindness, positive relationships, courage, and joy.”
At E.G.W., Anti-Bullying Week was also the start of ‘One School One Book’ and ‘Caught Being Kind’, says Encinas.
This is the third year, that everyone connected with E.G.W. has read the same book and had various activities connected with it.
This year, the protagonist of the book has to deal with some bullies, says Encinas.
The school has also done Caught Being Kind before.
“It goes very well with the book,” says Encinas. Students nominate each other when they see someone doing something kind. The nominated kids are entered into a draw. These are drawn a few times a week. The winners get a prize.
The wellness coaches at High Prairie School Division schools focus on four pillars of health, says Encinas. These are mental health, physical health, community, and nutrition.