INTERNATIONAL anti-bullying author and youth advocate Loverly Sheridan is continuing on her mission to place more buddy benches in various schools around Saint Lucia. The author is this month placing more benches and making presentations at the following schools: Dunnator, Vide Boutielle Primary, Richfond Combined, Plainview Combined, Monchy Primary, Methodist Primary, SDA Secondary and Soufriere Primary. The buddy benches and programme are being sponsored by private individuals, and various corporate sponsors including: DIGICEL, Bank of Saint Lucia, Crystal Clear, Domino’s Pizza, Hertz, and Valley Cold Storage Ltd.
‘Buddy Ambassadors is a successful on-going U.S National Anti-bullying campaign designed by author and youth advocate, Loverly Sheridan based on her book ‘Be a Buddy Not a Bully’ which is geared towards children in grades Pre-K to Grade 5, (Ages 4 to 10) to help raise awareness and end bullying, and to promote friendliness and inclusiveness in schools. The campaign is ongoing in the United States, and the author’s homeland, Saint Lucia. The programme has also been introduced in the countries of St Kitts, Grenada, and Virgin Gorda, BVI. The author’s goal is to spread the programme in schools globally.
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 Ambassadors/ 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.”
The author’s goal is to place Buddy Benches at every school on 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 on the island, to help combat/end bullying. She’s grateful for the endorsement of the programme from the Ministry of Education, and the support of schools, principals, sponsors and other local community members for their efforts in making the campaign a success.