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Turning Bullies into Buddies, a literature based anti-bullying program, offers after school sites quality staff trainings coupled with varied literature based lesson plans. It utilizes a wide variety of resources to ensure that after school providers are effectively able to decrease students’ bullying while also increasing their coping skills should they be bullied or witness others being bullied. The Turning Bullies into Buddies curriculum provides character education as well as academic growth in youth across Palm Beach County.
2011-2012 Program Outcomes:
As the Turning Bullies into Buddies Program came out of its pilot stages and began its first year in October 2011, the West Jupiter Community Center was eager to join in and embrace the anti-bullying books, launch engaging discussions and participate in the activities. Gradually creating an environment that is non-conducive to bullying is exactly what the center’s director had aspired to when she enrolled her center in this new innovative program. Edna Runner, site director, states that two of the books really spoke to her population.
The youth at the center selected "No More Bullies!" by Susan Hood for their recent anti-bullying banner project. Throughout the months of January and February, the children took the words and message of this bully-made-into-a-buddy themed book, talked it over, role played and worked with a local artist to create a big colorful banner that is proudly displayed across the front entry.
While that book came to life, another book helped spin an ongoing bullying issue at the center into a blossoming testimonial of friendship and compassion. When the staff at the West Jupiter Community Center read aloud "The Recess Queen" by Alexis O’Neil, the children recognized themselves in the fictional rendition of playground bullying. The older children realized they too had been dominating the playground. It was an eye opening discussion that followed the read aloud when one after another fourth and fifth grader acknowledged that they had been bullying classmates when it came to using playground equipment. Just as in the book, they had made it mandatory for other youth to seek approval before they played. They realized that because of their bullying the younger children at the center had little to no chance to play basketball. They talked about solutions and united in a new rule. The older children now step aside for the younger ones and strictly adhere to graciously making the first half hour of basketball a special time for the K-3 kids only. There is no more bullying when it comes to the basketball court as these children found a way they could turn themselves from being bullies into being buddies.
Check out news from Pink Shirt Day!
There's No Bullying Jake Long
What is Bullying?
1: to treat abusively
2: to affect by means of force or coercion
• An imbalance of power
Bullying is NOT:
A normal part of growing up
What do you call a group of bullies?
How Can an Afterschool Program
Make a Difference?
• Make everyone aware of what bullying is and why it occurs.
• Make adults aware of the extent of bullying at the site. Involve everyone in improving the situation.
• Form strong social norms against bullying.
• Provide support and protection for all students.
• Have students pledge not to bully other students, help students who are bullied and include students who are left out.
Prime Time and the After School Reads program of the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County are providing FREE training and materials for afterschool staff to help students with bullying concerns. These tangible experiences are sure to make a difference in the lives of the children you serve.
Turning Bullies into Buddies
The Turning Bullies into Buddies program involves ongoing activities to be presented initially a few times per week for approximately 3 months and once a month thereafter.
There are books for read-alouds. There are also activities to get kids moving and involved including music, songs, dance, arts and crafts...and even a few subject related cooking and science activities!
UNIT I Education: What bullying is, where and why it happens and who is involved.
UNIT II Action: What you and your kids can do about bullying.
UNIT III Prevention: Bullying occurs when character weaknesses prevail. Let’s do some character building.
UNIT IV Reinforcement: Ongoing efforts to make sure you are getting results and your kids are feeling safer.
“We’ve got to dispel the myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage – that it’s some inevitable part of growing up. It’s not. We have an obligation to ensure…all of our kids are safe.”
President Barack Obama
“We’re talking about a call to action for students, parents, teachers, coaches, and school administrators, anyone who comes in contact with children [who] are subject to being bullied. We’ve got to keep our children safe….”
“Will you be the rock that redirects the course of the river?”
Claire Nuer, Conflict Resolution Expert
Effects of Bullying
On the Child Who is Bullied...
Drug & Alcohol Issues
Drop in Grades
Increases in Absentee Rate
On the Child Who Bullies...
Studies show that children identified as bullies by age 8 are six times more likely to be convicted of a crime by age 24.
(Brewster & Railsback)
60% of kids characterized as bullies in 6th through 9th grades had at least one criminal conviction by age 24.
(Brewster & Railsback)
Bullies are five times more likely to end up with a serious criminal record by age 30. (National Association of School Psychologists)
On the Child Who Witnesses Bullying:
Children who are bystanders to bullying can feel:
Fearful:“Maybe I will be targeted next!”
Guilty: “I should try to stop this, but I am afraid.”
Distracted: ”I cannot focus on my school work.”
In adherence to our mission of ensuring high quality afterschool programming, Prime Time Palm Beach County urges afterschool programs to establish safe & supportive environments which are non-conducive to bullying. Towards this goal, Prime Time encourages afterschool practitioners, youth and our community to treat each other with sensitivity, empathy, understanding & trust.
For more information, call the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County at (561) 279-9103.