February 14, 2017
GUELPH, Ontario – Students at Victory Public School kicked off Valentine’s Day with a very special assembly. On Tuesday, Victory PS welcomed members of the anti-bullying organization, Kill it with Kindness.
Kill it with Kindness (KIWK) is an organization that raises awareness for children and youth about how to stop, prevent and deal with bullying. KIWK uses motivational speeches that discuss the importance of inclusion, equality and the promotion of kindness, acceptance, understanding, compassion and respect.
While visiting Victory PS, KIWK unveiled the school’s new friendship bench. The Friendship Bench Project Canada is KIWK’s primary initiative. KIWK uses the friendship bench as an interactive tool that provides children and youth with a safe place to gather in schools.
The goal of the friendship bench is to bring people together and make sure students know they have a welcoming place. When students are sitting on the bench, other students and staff are encouraged to open up positive communication with the student(s) on the bench as a way of promoting friendship and inclusivity. Students can also sit on the bench when they are looking for a safe place. When a teacher or other students see someone sitting on the bench, they are alerted that the student may be in need of assistance.
Each bench is made of 100% recycled plastic, so it’s environmentally friendly and allows the bench to hold up in all weather conditions.
Victory PS chose a Winnie the Pooh quote to put on the arm of the bench, “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have and one of the best things you can be.” A plaque on the other arm of the bench reads, “The Friendship Bench Project Canada. Stop the hurt. Choose love. 2017.”
Along with unveiling the bench, students from the school shared ways in which they will help promote kindness inside and outside of the community school. Current and future students of Victory PS have many years ahead to enjoy the bench and promote the message that it sends to the community.