Anti-Bullying and Violence Prevention Kindness Week at Buckingham Elementary

The band Twin Flames plays on the stage in the gymnasium

The Western Québec School Board is dedicated to creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment in all our schools and centres. The annual Anti-Bullying and Violence Prevention (ABVP) Kindness Week at Buckingham Elementary School supports this goal beautifully, with a week full of activities celebrating diversity and encouraging kindness. This year, their slogan was “United in Kindness, Embracing Our Differences”.

In the months leading up to the ABVP Kindness Week, the students at Buckingham worked hard to spread positivity throughout the school with small acts of kindness and community service. Most importantly, they were open to listening and learning more about the subject.

The staff also worked diligently. The ABVP committee, comprised of Buckingham teachers Christina Howard, Andrea Scholar and Delorean Clark, spearheaded the event, organizing resources and activities. The school secretary, Cindy Larin, was also key in organizing the week’s activities.

Members of the school staff educated students about diversity and inclusion leading up to the ABVP Kindness Week.  They also supported the initiative by promoting and celebrating acts of kindness.

Many activities were planned for the students by the dedicated Buckingham staff, such as the creation of a community mural in which students were asked to share one quality that makes them unique.  There was also a daily kindness challenge, as well as the awarding of “Warm Fuzzies” kindness notes to each student.  Staff shared resources for learning about people of different races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, as well as physical and neurological diversities.  The team also put on a friendship breakfast wherein the whole school came together as a community.

Buckingham Elementary planned to conclude the week with a special event as a thank you for everyone’s efforts towards making the school a kinder and more inclusive space. They booked the award-winning Canadian folk band Twin Flames for two concerts organized by age groups. Between their songs, Chelsey June and her husband Jaaji of Twin Flames shared Indigenous knowledge and history. For the younger group, the band used puppets of animals native to Canada to share information and to ask the students questions.  This was a hit with the children.  The older group rocked out a little harder (sans puppets), and after the concert, there was a line-up for autographs. For many of the students, this was their first ever concert, and the excitement throughout the school was palpable.

WQSB Chairman Wayne Daly, Commissioner Michael Kane, and Director of Education, Jennifer Dubeau were also in attendance for the concert.  They, along with the students and staff, sported glowstick bracelets and necklaces that, in combination with a blacklight, worked to enrich the concert experience. The Twin Flames performances were a perfect finale to Buckingham’s ABVP Kindness Week.  Although the special week is over, the values of kindness, acceptance and inclusivity will continue to be practiced and taught at Buckingham Elementary School.

Special thank you to Buckingham Elementary’s principal, James Price, for providing the information for this article.

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