Companies are stepping up in an effort to end bullying, and some of those efforts of late have included reaching out to Langley kids.
A team from Safe Fleet in Coquitlam, for instance, recently visited two Grade 5 leadership students Richard Bulpitt Elementary in Langley to share the message of kindness.
The Willoughby school follows the BARKS motto: Be Respectful, Accountable, Responsible, Kind, and Safe.
That parallels the goal of Seon, Safe Fleet’s parent company. That is to create a world without bullying.
To help promote this initiative, the company invited kids in the local class to participate in its Kindness is Cool colouring contest.
Both the company and the school believe that together they can make a difference, said sales manager Mike Bismeyer, who spoke with the kids. He was accompanied by Safe Fleet’s United Against Bullying (UAB) mascot Buddy the Safety Bear.
“The children we met at Richard Bulpitt were keen to share stories about when they were bullied or saw others being bullied,” Bismeyer said.
“The statistics are sad: one out of every three or four children will be impacted by bullying.” Bismeyer said, sharing his own personal bullying experience with the kids.
“A kid from school stepped up for me and to this day I pack two lunches when travelling somewhere new, because you never know who will need one. T
hat is how you be kind, that‘s how you be cool. Step up because it does make a difference.”
The coloring contest was a way to connect with the kids – an ice breaker if you will – intended to open up the lines of communication, Bismeyer said.
It’s important, he added, to have a conversation with youngsters about making a difference. By empowering children, they will be the ones to end bullying, Bismeyer said.
Also a first for the campaign this year, UAB has partnered with SIT WITH US – a free mobile app launched by a 16-year-old who was bullied in middle school – to promote kinder and more inclusive school communities.
UAB posted ‘Be Kind’ graphics twice a week throughout October.
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Retailer kicks back bucks
Bootlegger is getting on board to give kids an out when it comes to bullying.
To bring awareness to the issue, the Kid Help Phone launched a partnership with B.C.-based retailer Bootlegger by offering three limited edition plush slipper socks that are available for purchase online and in-store for $10, with $1 of every pair going to the Kids Help Phone.
The Kids Help Phone is this country’s only 24/7 counselling service for young people.
The partnership was announced heading into national bullying awareness week, which is taking place Nov. 13 to 19.
According to Statistics Canada, Bootlegger said one in three adolescent students have reported being bullied recently, and over half of bullied children do not report it to their teachers.
They also cited that Canada has the ninth highest rate of bullying in the 13-year-olds category in the world, with cyberbullying becoming a growing trend.