All together for Anti-Bullying Week
SCHOOLS and youth organisations are being urged to take part in a creative competition to help tackle bullying.
Registration for Anti-Bullying Week 2017 - November 13-17 - is now open.
Young people are being encouraged to get creative and use art, film and the written word to create anti-bullying messages.
The theme of the week is All Equal, All Different, All Together.
It aims to support schools and youth organisations to celebrate difference and diversity; bring people together to celebrate what makes them and others unique and help create welcoming and inclusive environments both off and online.
Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated by the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) and supported by Translink. NIABF is an interagency group hosted by the National Children's Bureau NI and funded by the Department of Education.
Almost 700 schools and youth organisations got involved last year and it is anticipated that there will be even greater interest in 2017.
Rosanna Jack, Regional Anti-Bullying Coordinator from NIABF, said the week planned to celebrate positive messages of anti-bullying, diversity, kindness, respect and inclusivity in all environments both face to face and online.
"Last year's creative competition attracted a high volume of quality entries from children and young people across Northern Ireland. This is an indication of the level of commitment and participation in anti-bullying initiatives. It also demonstrates the desire of schools and youth organisations to understand the nature and complexities of bullying behaviours," she said.
"The competition provides a way of highlighting the issue of bullying to schools and the wider community in both on and offline settings. It also gives pupils the opportunity to explore ways of promoting the positive messages of anti-bullying. Competition participants have the added bonus of prizes for individual winners and a chance to win £250 worth of resources for your school or organisation."
St Anne's PS in Dunmurry was joint winner of last year's junior category competition.
Principal Michael Keenan said: "Anti-Bullying Week is a very important week in the school calendar for us.
"Corridors are awash with colourful posters. The classrooms, playgrounds and assembly halls buzz with children sharing anti-bullying messages through discussion, art work, media work and presentations. The whole school community uses it as an opportunity to refocus minds on the important message that bullying of all kinds is wrong and can negatively impact all involved."
The deadline for registration and competition entries is Friday June 23 2017.
:: To register for, or find out more about Anti-Bullying Week 2017 go to www.endbullying.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.