The Buddy Bench project has been introduced at the school, in an effort to show the importance of empathy amongst young people and reduce the effects of bullying.
Children can sit on the bench when in need of someone to talk to or play with.
The bench was crafted by Peter Troke, carpentry instructor at the Clarenville College of the North Atlantic, who did all the work before donating it to Crime Prevention. Troke and the CNA donated the materials for the bench to the project.
The president of the Clarenville Area Citizens’ Crime Prevention Committee, Cheryl Barrett, says the program represents positivity, empathy and understanding others with differences.
“There are so many children in our system who are different … It (can) be difficult for children to make friends,” said Barrett.
It’s being inclusive, say Barrett and Crime Prevention committee member and treasurer, Bob Chafe.
“It’s a friendly bench,” said Barrett. “It’s not a bench to be singled out … It just becomes part of the playground equipment.”
But, if the need for the bench is there, kids will be able to avail of it, and they’re making sure the students know the significance.
The program has an accompanying teacher’s guide and lesson plan to help students understand what it is for and what they can learn from it. Each teacher in Grades Kindergarten to Grade 3 have been given a copy of the plan.
While Riverside is the first in the area to have a Buddy Bench, Crime Prevention is hoping to grow the program.
“We’d like to have one in every primary school in the area,” said Barrett.
What is the ‘Buddy Bench’?
The Buddy Bench, placed in schools and playgrounds, represents a safe place for children to meet when they are in need of a friend. It advocates for awareness of bullying and acts of kindness.
Children who don’t necessarily have the voice to speak up about someone bullying them can use the program to safely express themselves.
Children can sit on the bench to alert teachers, staff, volunteers or other students that they are in need of assistance.
The problem can range from needing to tell someone about a bully, needing someone to talk to, or someone to play with.
SOURCE: Crime Prevention
Clarenville Area Citizens’ Crime Prevention celebrates 30 years
The Clarenville Area Citizens' Crime Prevention committee is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The committee is one of the two oldest Crime Prevention committees in the province and is part of the Citizens' Crime Prevention Association of NL.
“Although our committee is small in number, our members, with support from our Police Liaison Officer, Const. Cory Hemeon, carry out several projects during the year,” says Clarenville Crime Prevention president Cheryl Barrett.
Some of the projects carried out this year by the Clarenville Crime Prevention Committee:
• The main fundraiser each year for local Crime Prevention committee, a non-profit group, is the Battle of the Brains trivia challenge during Winter Carnival. The event funds many of the initiatives organized by the committee throughout the year.
• A Crime Prevention Committee member attends CHS Awards Night to present the CP scholarship to a student who will be pursuing a career in justice, the police force or a related area. For this year’s event, the committee thanked all the participants, the emcee John Russell, and Clarenville recreation director Brandon Reardon, for his support and planning.
• Committee members visit Cozy Quarters senior citizens home during Christmas to deliver fruit baskets and a small gift to the residents.
• Each year, during Police Week, we run two contests in the local schools, one for Grades Kindergarten to 3 and a poster contest for Grades 4-6. Both are designed to encourage active discussions in classes that highlight the goal of Police Week: To promote community awareness and recognition of policing services while strengthening police-community ties.
Two K-3 classes are drawn by the officers at our local RCMP detachment. Each wins a pizza party with a police officer and a stuffed Sgt. Bigfoot Moose to keep in their classrooms.
In the Grades 4-6 contest, the RCMP judge the posters that have been submitted and that best represent what our police officers do in our communities. The winning students will get to be Police Officers for a Day. They will wear red serge uniforms and will spend the day with an RCMP officer, accompanying him or her as they carry out their duties.
• Before school closes this year, Crime Prevention will be holding a Bicycle Rodeo for students in Grades Kindergarten to 4, conducted by the RCMP. The committee offers it free for any children who participate. Participants receive a Bicycle Safety certificate upon completion of the course.