United Against Bullying went to Richard Bulpitt Elementary school recently to treat Harry Park’s Grade 5 class to a pizza party and a $500 award for a kindness initiative of their choosing.
Park won the United Against Bullying (UAB) colouring contest in the 8 to 10-year-old category.
He was the first Canadian winner for the UAB contest, which has been running for three years in the U.S. and Canada.
UAB was at Richard Bulpitt earlier in the year to talk to students about bullying and introduce the annual colouring contest to them.
This year’s theme was ‘Kindness Is Cool’ and the colouring sheet featured Buddy the Safety Bear being kind to his friend, Squirrel. The contest reached thousands of students in cities around North America with 1,390 entries submitted by teachers, counselors, school bus drivers, and parents.
“Our program, United Against Bullying, was started after the suicide of the bullied teen Amanda Todd,” said Teresa Lynne, UAB program co-ordinator. “The statistics are one in three or four kids will be negatively impacted by bullying. And sadly, it starts in kindergarten.”
Buddy the Safety Bear joined the students for the party that took place Nov. 29.
Harry’s teacher Karm Connolly said the Grade 5 students are coming up with ideas of how to best use the money.
Some of the ideas so far include creating a space on the playground where students can come together if they are feeling left out, or a kindness bench. They are also considering a kindness initiative that could go throughout the school on a regular basis, she said. The class will decide in the new year.
The UAB program is the social campaign of Safe Fleet, the leading provider of safety solutions for fleet vehicles. The sole purpose of the colouring contest campaign and the grant funding available each year is to start conversations on kindness and to stop bullying. UAB envisions a world without bullying – full of kindness, empathy, and safety.
“Keeping children and adults safe is the forefront of everything we do,” said John R. Knox, President and CEO of Safe Fleet. “We will continue to provide contests, funding, and resources to help create respectful environments, to empower young people, and to end bullying.”