Teaching tolerance in elementary schools is an essential priority. If we begin with very young children who are instinctively more sensitive than adults, who are not reluctant to express their true feelings, then we will be far more successful in our efforts to fight racism and discrimination.
Be a Buddy - Not a Bully, developed in 2005, is an independent anti-bullying program. It is preventative, demonstrates respect for individuals and encourages inclusiveness. This literature-based program for kindergarteners and first-graders is woven into the existing curriculum and flexible in its duration.
Be a Buddy - Not a Bully has 15 lessons that can be presented by a teacher and/or parent. It also serves as the foundation for It’s OK to be Different, a comprehensive program in effect since 1987 that teaches tolerance in elementary schools.
Through Be a Buddy—Not a Bully, children learn to be a friend and to stand up to bullies through: interactive activities, interaction with people who share their personal experiences, and exceptional children’s literature.
Laraine Gaunt, creator of this project, was a special education teacher for over 35 years. Laraine trains teachers and parents to implement this program. In recognition of her work in this program, she has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Christa McAuliffe Fellowship from the State of New Jersey.
Here’s what one school principal had to say about this program:
As a principal of an elementary school, I can't think of a more valuable program. It is obvious that the development of empathy should be at the heart of any character education. The dramatic call for anti-bullying programs by politicians, parents, students and educators is sufficient evidence. The essence of It's OK to be Different is the development of empathy by targeting stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. I know of no other program that does this so well. --Chris Halpin, Elementary School Principal
The Center is proud to offer this program to your school for an introductory price of $1,300. A 2-hour training session for teachers and parents is included.
For information, email