National Bullying Prevention Month

October has finally arrived, and it is a great time to honor and teach about a very important issue that affects the lives of many every day. Something that everyone should know, if they don’t already, is that October is National Bullying Prevention Month!

Many animals come to Wayside Waifs who are in desperate need of our care, and we do all that we can to help give those animals a chance at a better life. Some of these animals have unfortunately not seen the brightest days, and that is the case for many children experiencing bullying as well.

Bullying is universal, and our animal shelter strongly advocates for both our two-legged and four-legged friends who have been bullied. We want to help teach our community about the violence that goes on in all aspects of life, whether that is with animals, at home, in school or out in the real world.

“People, abused by people, often abuse animals. People who abuse animals often also abuse people. And so the cycle goes,” (No More Bullying!, So what better way to teach the younger generations about bullying than through a fun, interactive and new perspective.

Our Humane Education department has a program called No More Bullying! where they visit elementary schools, both local and national, to teach third, fourth and fifth graders about bullying and violence prevention. It is an integration of both human and animal perspectives and emphasizes how important it is to treat all aspects of life with love and respect. Through this program, Wayside Waifs hopes to teach others how to create a respectful and safe environment and inspire change.

Our Humane Educators are in schools for a total of five days, teaching 60 minute lessons at a time. During each lesson, students learn about five core values: responsibility, compassion, being humane, self-control and integrity. They receive journals that encourage them to think deeply about these values and how they can improve on them throughout their daily routines. Students also learn about how these values correlate with properly caring for animals.

One of the students’ favorite parts about No More Bullying! is the company of companion animals. There are about 10 animals used on daily basis that go to schools with our educators and help assist with the curriculum. With an animal present in the classroom while the No More Bullying! materials are being taught, students are more engaged because it presents the idea of “no more bullying,” something they have heard a thousand times, from a different and exciting perspective.

Our companion animals and Humane Educators bring enthusiasm to the classroom, and students absolutely love when they get to visit with animals. It is a great way for kids to learn about bullying prevention, and have fun while doing it!

To learn more about our No More Bullying! program, please visit our website.

Written by Cierra H.

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