H-E-B Buddy League encourages students to “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully”
SAN ANTONIO, TX -- October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and H-E-B is inviting Texas elementary school students to join the H-E-B Buddy League, challenging them to be a buddy, not a bully.
Inspired by H-E-B’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the effort promotes kindness and respect and discourages harmful behaviors such as teasing, exclusion and bullying.
In its third year, the H-E-B Buddy League kicked off a statewide tour of the H-E-B Buddy League Training Academy. Using songs and animation, a live show will take students through five training tasks that demonstrate bullying behaviors and shows ways to stand up to bullying and promote unity.
The live performances began Tuesday and will stop at 300 elementary schools across Texas throughout the month.
Stephanie Reisner, Administrative Assistant at San Angelo’s H-E-B 2, stated that “we are waiting on confirmation from San Angelo ISD to approve the curriculum.”
H-E-B is planning on visiting seven San Angelo elementary schools this month, and this is the second year that San Angelo has participated in the H-E-B Buddy League Training Academy.
The H-E-Buddy mascot and H-E-B employees will visit first through third-grade classrooms to engage students in a variety of anti-bullying activities and conversations. Teachers will receive an H-E-B Buddy League Kit filled with materials to continue the dialogue of kindness and inclusion.
Bullying is a widespread issue that can cause negative physical, social and mental-health issues. It’s estimated that between one in four students has been bullied at school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Children who are bullied more often experience depression, anxiety, and feelings of sadness and loneliness as well as experience lower academic achievement and school participation.
In addition to the presentations and online resources, students are eligible for the H-E-B Buddy League Student Advocate Award, which recognizes children who demonstrate acts of kindness, respect, courage and inclusion. Teachers can nominate students online at heb.com/league now through Feb. 28, 2019. Winners will be recognized and receive an H-E-B Buddy League Prize Pack.
“H-E-B is a passionate supporter of education and understands that children are successful and learn best when they have safe learning environments,” said Sonia Quirino Canales, H-E-B Diversity & Inclusion Manager. “Since we launched the program, tens of thousands of Texas elementary students have participated in the H-E-B Buddy League and we hope to reach even more children this year.”
Here’s what some teachers and administrators from around the state are saying about H-E-B Buddy League:
“Students absolutely loved the show,” said J.J. Holman, Assistant Principal at Trout Primary in Lufkin ISD. “Programs like this are important to help promote and encourage our students to be brave, actively report bullying behavior and treat others with kindness and acceptance.”
“Learning lessons in different ways is so important,” said Dawn Mireles, Principal at Harvey Elementary School in Kingsville ISD. “The performance, music and characters helped students understand the importance of treating others in a kind way. It helped to provide life lessons and supported our ongoing lessons about living a kinder, gentler life.”
“The H-E-B Buddy League program helped bring awareness to our students about bullying,” said Aminta Limas, Principal at LBJ Elementary in Edcouch-Elsa ISD. “They felt empowered to do the right thing and stand up for others who might be victims of bullying. Programs like this are important because it forms a partnership of support between the community and the school as they work together to prevent bullying as well as to promote kindness towards others.”
“The students love it,” said Lacy Bruce, second grade teacher at Johnston Elementary in Abilene ISD. “The program emphasizes kindness and the importance of including everyone and fits well with other programs on campus that incorporate positive values and social skills.”