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Macaulay student wins national contest

Local kindergarten student earns kudos for anti-bullying poster
Macaulay Elementary kindergarten teacher Katrinka Karpes and student Jett Scales

While the topic of bullying in school continues to make headlines across the country, one local kindergarten student already has a leg up on how to deal with the problem.

Macaulay elementary's Jett Scales, 5, won the national WITS program poster contest last week after his school submitted his artwork in the ages 5 and 6 category.

"W stands for walk away, I stands for ignore, T stands for talk it out, and S stands for seek help," said Scales, pointing to the letters on his poster. His drawing of two students turning their backs on a name-calling bully caught the eyes of the judges, who awarded Scales one of 10 Chapters gift cards worth $500.

"If you can just walk away or ignore that bully and do those two steps in primary (school), you've got a huge step forward," said Katrinka Karpes, Macaulay kindergarten teacher. "We were just excited that he won best out of the 80 students in our school, but then he went on to win across Canada for his age group."

The WITS program was started at Lampson Street Elementary in 1993 by principal Judi Stevenson to teach kids about simple conflict resolution. Today, WITS is taught at more than 300 elementary and middle schools across Canada and the U.S., thanks to a comprehensive program developed by the Rock Solid Foundation and school district 61.

Scales was modest about his win, but said he was excited to go to Chapters with his parents soon.

"I feel great about myself," he said.