(PRESS RELEASE) – Anti-bullying author and youth advocate, Loverly Sheridan, will kick off the official launching of her international “Buddy Bench Campaign” — endorsed by the Ministry of Education and Infrastructure — at the Carmen Rene’ Memorial School on Monday, February 18, 2019.
‘BE A BUDDY, NOT A BULLY’ is a successful ongoing U.S. national anti-bullying campaign designed by Ms. Sheridan based on her program, “Buddy Ambassadors,” and book, ‘Be a Buddy Not a Bully,’ which is geared towards children in grades pre-K to 3, (ages 4 to 10) to help raise awareness and end bullying, as well as to promote friendliness and inclusiveness in schools.
The one-of-a-kind benches are created and designed by award-winning artist, Jonathan Guy Gladding.
Ms. Sheridan believes that if we teach children about the effects of their actions and the importance of teamwork, sharing, compassion and empathy from an early age, that we can help curb some of our larger societal problems. This belief is what inspired the “Buddy Bench” initiative.
She states: “Bullying is a pervasive global issue which affects children in many different ways, including death by suicide. Most acts of bullying starts at an early age when children are unable to understand the effects and consequences of their actions. For some children, it’s a way of expressing their feelings and frustrations, crying out for help, or simply succumbing to peer pressure. It is influenced by many factors, and although there is not one solution to end it, my goal as an author, educator and mental health advocate is to help in addressing the root of the problem, in an effort to stop it from spreading.”
After the official launching on Monday, the author is also scheduled to present Buddy Benches to seven schools around the island, sponsored by private individuals and corporations.
Domino’s Pizza, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, HERTZ, Valley Cold Storage and 123 Digital are all proud corporate sponsors of the Buddy Bench Campaign — sponsoring a bench to a school of their choice. These schools include: Les Etangs Combined, Camille Henry, Carmen Rene’ Memorial, Bouton Combined, Canon Laurie Anglican (Infant), Gros Iset Primary, and Pierrot Combined.
The author’s goal is to place Buddy Benches at every pre-school and elementary school on the island.
Last year, with the help of sponsors, she was able to place six benches at various schools around the island. She stresses that this is an ongoing campaign and is looking forward to the support of corporations and community members at home and abroad, to help in promoting friendliness and inclusiveness in schools, to help end bullying.
She’s grateful for the support of the Ministry of Education and local community members for their efforts in making the campaign a success.
For more information about the Buddy Ambassadors Program and the Buddy Bench Campaign, go to www.buddyambassadors.com.