but inside Danesfort National School was bright with excitement – children, teachers, parents, all eagerly awaiting not one but TWO camera crews – one from RTE, filming a segment for RTE Nationwide and the other from Glass Eye Productions, who are making the first Buddy Bench Ireland promo video for our crowd funding campaign.
The kettle was boiling, the cakes were laid out, and the school was abuzz!
Congrats to Danesfort NS, the pioneers of the Buddy Bench Aware Program! soon you will see yourselves on the television, be very proud you were fantastic. Thank you to the students, fantastic teachers Muinteor Helen and Muinteor Natalie and the parents for their co-operation. Anne and Parent Committee for the "too nice" cakes. We had a very special guest appearance of the former head master Mr. Joe Hickey.
Judith reading the story of the child on the bench, the teaching fable at the heart of our workshop;
Helen from RTE interviewing the children from Muinteor Natalie’s class;
Sam explaining the story of the Buddy Bench Movement while children ran and laughed around their playground at break-time.
Muinteor Helen’s Class taking full energetic part in the games and exercises with Jeffrey Gormly our creative Advisor, that develop the creativity, confidence, mindfulness and communication skills that form the core of the "Buddy Bench Aware" Program. Jeffrey wrote our "Buddy Bench Aware" story that we use for the interactive workbook for every child who takes part in the program. It consists of animals and each animal represents a coping skill will feel will benefit the child for the rest of it's life. Through our research we found the early invention is key.
We use a buddy bench as a visual tool alongside the paediatric-psychologist-designed "Buddy Bench Aware" program, we want to reach every primary school children in Ireland. We want to help them release the stigma of asking for help, celebrate the children who act with compassion, kindness empathy and encourage them in developing conflict-management skills, thus relieving anxiety, stress and feelings of isolation.
Then off to the Men’s Shed Carlow for more filming – the lovely men there are going to make the benches
that we roll out as part of our initial pilot program in the South East! It is fantastic we have the support of this initiative. we feel we are bringing two elements of the community together in a very positive way. Plus these guys are great fun.!
The two Michael s are based in the Carlow Mens Shed, this is a hive of activity you can feel the energy and the talent and craftsmanship has to be seen to be believed. I hear they do a great "Fry Up" on a Thursday lunchtime. They told me that was a big secret!
We want to roll this initiative out nationally as it entwines heavily with the SPHE program (Social Personal and Health Education) in the primary school curriculum.
Help us so we can deliver the Buddy Bench Aware Program to every primary school child in Ireland, forming a happier society and the voices of our younger children heard.
It’s a movement, and we’re moving fast!
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