News and Media

BACK TO SCHOOL SAFETY: Bring a Buddy Along!

September 5, 2012
For Immediate Release

WINNIPEG, MB: With the new school year underway, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection wants parents to put something on their checklist besides the usual stationary supplies required by students. The Canadian Centre is urging parents and teachers to add child personal safety to the list and use the Billy Brings his Buddies program to teach children the Buddy System safety strategy.

“When children learn and use the buddy system they reduce their likelihood of being victimized and increase their personal safety,” says Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “Research shows that children who go places alone are at a greater risk of being harmed, so it’s important for parents to talk to their kids about the importance of always bringing a buddy along. Teachers can also help reinforce this safety strategy by using the Billy Brings his Buddies program with students throughout the school year.”

Sponsored by Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the Billy Brings his Buddies program is a part of the Canadian Centre’s Kids in the Know interactive child personal safety program for students from Kindergarten to Grade Nine. The Billy initiative is for Grade One students, and includes a website (billybuddy.ca) where parents and educators can access an online storybook, interactive games and other activities to help them teach young children about the buddy system. Teachers can also download a free copy of the Billy Brings his Buddies Grade One Teacher Kit, which includes a lesson plan and poster for the classroom as well as at-home activities to send home to parents to complete with their child.

“Whether it’s walking to and from school or playing at the playground, teaching children to never go places alone and to always bring a buddy along is essential,” says Tom Buckmaster, President of Honeywell Hometown Solutions. “We are proud to partner with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to bring this important safety program to schools and homes across Canada.”

The Canadian Centre and Honeywell Hometown Solutions want to make sure that back-to-school excitement is paired with the teaching of strategies that will help children stay safe all year round. They encourage all Grade One teachers and parents of young children to visit billybuddy.ca to learn more.

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