MaraFun Key Part of School’s Anti-Bullying Strategy

Thursday, February 04, 2016, 12:56 PM
As parents, many of us are aware of the lasting effects bullying can have on the mental health of our children.
Canada actually ranks among the worst countries in the developed world for our bullying rates, according to the World Health Organization.

One of the key ingredients to eliminating bullying is by fostering an environment where the social opinion regarding bullying is that it is just plain “uncool”, while putting an emphasis on compassion, respect and helping others is considered the true “cool!”  One local elementary school in Collingwood is using the MaraFun before-school running program as a key part of their anti-bullying strategy.  According to St. Mary’s Catholic School Principal, Mike Dufort “Our strategy is to focus on the positive.  We have ways to deal with the negative, but our focus is on positive activities that create a sense of togetherness and that can help to directly prevent bullying issues.”  The MaraFun Program gets kids out running before school with students from all grades, fostering a sense of community with positive encouragement from the students themselves as well as the parent volunteers and teachers.

Getting kids off to a healthy positive start in the morning has a great spill-over effect into the rest of their day and the other students around them.  As parents, we too can focus on the positive by encouraging our kids to participate in programs that inspire our kids to act “cool” by supporting and encouraging others.  It is also important for all parents to be aware of the signs of bullying such as not wanting to go to school, strange explanations for bruises and torn clothes, losses of personal possessions, and being more reclusive at home.  For more information on how to take the lead in eliminating bullying please check out the fantastic resources at PREVnet, and contact us to bring the MaraFun Running Program to your school.