Friday 30 November 2007

Mary checks in on anti-bullying project @ schools in Århus

"Is it not correct that you'll soon become a queen?" asked one of the boys in "Smilehullet" thoughtfully. The Crown Princess laughed a little and said, "I think there is more time to pass before that happens." All photos DR/Aarhus ST © Henning Bagger/Scanpix

Yesterday (November 29) Crown Princess Mary visited a kindergarten and a school in Århus where the Save the Children pilot project Free from Bullying has been put into practice. As we know from the launch of the anti-bullying program in Denmark, it was inspired by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation of Australia and Mary's visit yesterday was to have a chat with teachers and children to see how things are going, since she has been very closely involved with it since its inception. Indeed, it was Mary's idea to modify the Australian Better Buddies program for Denmark. The sharp-eyed will notice Caroline Heering accompanied Mary on this occasion. In a possible sign of how the ladies-in-waiting will share different tasks, it was in this instance that Caroline Heering was involved in this project from the beginning.

From Århus Stiftstidende: Crown Princess Mary informs herself about bullying in Tilst - Crown Princess Mary visits the integrated daycare and pre-school institutions 'Venøvej 7' and 'Smilehullet' in Tilst. She will pop in and talk with the teachers and the children on how the project "Free from Bullying" is working out. Next she will visit the school ' Skjoldhøjskolen'. The projects are inspired by the The Alannah and Madeline Foundation of Australia.
Århus Stiftstidende (in Danish) 'Fri for mobberi i Skjoldhøj' (Free from bullying in Skjoldhøj'
Jyllands Posten 'Mary mødte glade børn' - Mary meets happy kids:
By Kay Rasmussen 29 Nov 07
Crown Princess Mary visited the Skjold high school and two kindergardens for three hours in Tilst in order to see how far the Århus Municipality has progressed with the Save the Children's project "Free from bullying".
Crown Princess Mary met many happy and engaged children, when she visited Tilst yesterday for three hours.
As patron of the of the Save the Children's project "Free from bullying" she first visited the two kindergardens Venøvej 7 and Smilehullet (the Dimple!) and then ended with a visit to the Skjold high school.
Århus Muicipality together with Gentofte and Kolding municipalities are the three taking part in the pilot project for the prevention of bullying.
Massage and song - During the visit the Crown Princess had a first-hand look at how the campaign has progressed and how teachers and pupils do practical work on preventing bullying in day-care centres, for instance through massage, song and conversations.
"The Crown Princess contacted us two years ago at The Save the Children Fund and offered to contibute on a plan that she knew from Australia, and asked whether it was something for us to try in Denmark to help solve [problems of bullying].
We eagerly accepted her offer and ever since she has used her background knowledge from Australia and participated very actively in the development of the project, which in practice was implemented in February this year in three municipalities," explained Save the Children's director Mimi Jakobsen.
Examples - The Crown Princess was in Tilst to be able to see examples of how to work on influencing especially the youngest children to realise the idea that bullying is always wrong.
After the visits in the two kindergardens Mary went with the whole board from The Save the Children Fund to the Skjold high school, where [Mary] was invited to share in a tempting plate with bread, made at the school's canteen kitchen during a half-hour luch break.
Afterwards, there were 60 children gathered on chairs in the canteen and later nearly 100 more children took their place at the front to sing.
The children have worked on the songs for a while now, and the small voices entered into the task very well, helped by knowing the words by heart.
Like the leader of the after-school day care program, Jimmy Vistisen said "one doesn't tease another as much if they sing together with."
Mary was given a book with texts from some children as well as a CD with recordings of the three songs that the children from the school youth centre Frit, the Globe and Holmstrup House have recorded.
The children of course also got CDs, which will probably be under many Christmas trees.
Save the Children (in English)
Free from Bullying (in Danish) - the page for accessing materials and info about anti-bullying
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation
Better Buddies - One of our key prevention programs is the Better Buddies Framework, a whole-school initiative designed to create safe and caring school communities where bullying is reduced. We play an advocacy role and are a voice against childhood violence. The National Coalition Against Bullying (NCAB), a group of experts in the field of childhood bullying and the creation of safe schools and communities, is an initiative of the Foundation. NCAB provides expert knowledge so that we can deliver effective prevention and advocacy programs aimed at keeping children safe from violence.
See DRWs post Mary launches Save the Children anti-bullying project

DR1 video clip (0:33)
TV2 ØST (from top of the bulletin 2:45)
TV2 news clip (1:18) - At the end of this clip at Smilehullet (The Dimple) the questions went off course a bit. "Is it not correct that you'll soon become a queen?" asked one of the boys in "Smilehullet" thoughtfully. The Crown Princess laughed a little and said, "I think there is more time to pass before that happens."
DR1 news clip (2:07)

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