Young author with a big message

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Lushington writes book about bullying

An Amherst area girl has found a unique way to express her feelings about bullying - she wrote a book about it.

AMHERST – When Grace Lushington was bullied, she found a unique way to express how she felt and in turn discovered a way to help others – she wrote a book.

The nine-year-old Grade 3 student at Cumberland North Academy

“I thought a lot of people are getting bullied and I thought if I made a book with mice in it that people wouldn’t be bullies anymore,” Lushington said.

Working with her mother, Paula, she worked with her pet mice and took photos of them acting out different scenes. She also wrote the accompanying story, with her pet mice as the characters. She also drew the backgrounds and used toys to set the scenes while her mother took the photos.

The book also includes information on where to turn if you’re being bullied and included some website information for various community resources.

Her mother, an avid scrapbooker, created the cover and the pages were put together and printed at Acadian Printing. She donated one copy of the book to her school library and another to Cumberland Mental Health.

She also spoke to her fellow students about the book and talked to mental health about it as well. She said other students think the book is awesome and she said a lot of told her they looked at it as well.

“I think it’s really amazing,” she said. “I’m hoping someone will ready this and have the courage inside them to not be a bully.”

Paula said her daughter is very giving and she’s not surprised she wanted to help.

“Grace was bullied in the earlier grades and was having a hard time coming up with a way to deal with it. We seen someone at mental health and this was Gracie’s way of figuring out how to deal with the bully and to help other kids to deal with a bully,” Paula  said. “I’m really proud of her. She’s the kind of kid that doesn’t always think of herself. She is the one who wanted to get book to other people to help. She really is a caring child.”

Const. Travise Dow of the Cumberland RCMP said the book is a perfect example of what the WITS program is all about because the mice learn they need to talk about it, seek help and walk away. It’s also about learning to respect each other.

“At the end of the day you may not be friends with someone, but you have to respect each other and Grace does an amazing job capturing that message,” Dow said.

WITS – Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out and Seek help – is in its second year at several Cumberland County elementary schools. The anti-bullying program, developed in British Columbia in the 1990s, creates a common language children can  take home and sue to create a positive atmosphere when dealing with peer conflict.

Since the book was written by a child, Dow thinks it will be a big asset to WITS and peer mediation. Dow is in the process of sending the book to the Rock Solid Foundation and national WITS program.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Cumberland North Academy, Rock Solid Foundation

Geographic location: Cumberland County, British Columbia

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