Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Better buddies and bears battle to beat bullies

A new program at Rochester Primary School is aimed at helping preps feel safe and teaching leadership skills to their older schoolmates.

ELAINE COONEY March 21, 2014 4:05am

Dahla Bywaters, Bailey Town and Lauren Chugg are fighting bullying with the Better Buddies program

Rochester Primary School launched its Better Buddy program this month to help reduce bullying and create a friendly and caring school environment.

Better Buddies co-ordinator Leesa Ross said the program involved year 6 students taking preps under their wings.

She said the program helped preps feel safe, valued and connected to the school community and the year 6 ‘‘buddies’’ learned leadership skills.

‘‘They learn how to be a better buddy,’’ she said.

Ms Ross said the program was designed to stop bullying by encouraging students to be kind to one another.

She said each prep student was given their own Better Buddy Bear to use in the program this year.

The mascot of the Buddy Bear program is a purple bear designed to promote care, security warmth, comfort.

The Better Buddies program is being conducted in more than 800 Australian schools and has been adopted in other countries, including Denmark, Singapore and Dubai.

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