The Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center recently unveiled the first Rusty’s Buddy Bench at Atwood Primary School in Oakland. SAC&SC educator, Sean Landry, presented the bench to the school’s k-2 students during a weekly “Town Meeting” in September.

More than just playground seating, Rusty’s Buddy Bench promotes friendship among students, conveying a message of kindness and inclusion; a message which is emphasized throughout the Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center’s Super Hero Academy curriculum. Focusing on bystander intervention. The program teaches students how to overcome the bystander effect and encourages them to become upstanders — everyday, real life heroes.

The buddy bench was the top prize awarded for the agency’s third annual Create a Hero contest. The winning entry, “Super Kitty” was created by Atwood Primary School student Prudence Baltazar. Super Kitty is an orange cat outfitted in teal, the awareness color of sexual abuse, and has the “upstander power” of speed, allowing her to rapidly intervene when someone is being bullied.

The contest was open to all students who saw a Super Hero Academy presentation during the 2016/17 school year. All contest entries had to be original creations, have an “upstander power,” and include a teal awareness ribbon for sexual assault. In addition to the contest prizes, each student who saw a presentation during the school year also received a Super Hero Academy coloring book and a set of trading cards featuring characters from the presentations.

The presentation is just one of the many free curricula provided by the center. All presentations are age appropriate and can be modified to target students at different age levels.

For more information about Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center’s school based education or to schedule an educational program in your school, visit silentnomore.org.