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Buddy Bench Dedication

Buddy Bench Dedication

The Groton Rotary Club generously donated a buddy bench to the elementary school playground this year. A welcoming place to go on the playground, those who sit on the bench communicate to others that they are looking for someone to play with. Groton Elementary School Principal Timothy Heller said, “We have several new students each year and it is always hard to make new friends. I think we have some kids who are really good at helping out whenever they can, and its an easy way for them to know who is in need of their help and support.”  Nick H. explained it this way, “A buddy bench is for when you sit on a bench and wait for some buddy to come over there. It is a good way to get buddies, I think every school should have a buddy bench, not that many people in the world have buddies.” Teachers shared with their classes the buddy bench concept before the bench’s dedication, which took place on Friday, September 11, 2015 during recess. “I like it because you can hang out with your friends, and make new friends,” Brynn B. said. “I think it’s good to have because sometimes people are left out, and they need someone to be with them,” said Elizabella H. The concept of a buddy bench has existed outside the US for several years, but it was a second grader who sought out approval for one to be installed at his York, PA elementary school in 2013 that sparked media attention. The Buddy Bench idea caught on since that first bench was installed stateside and these benches are now trending on school playgrounds nationwide. To sit on the bench is a unique way for children to seek peer support and encourages children who see someone at the bench to respond with kindness.  “If you need a buddy you sit on it,” Tayrn L. commented, “some buddies might be able to help you out with whatever you are dealing with…sometimes people do have bad days and they need somebody to talk to.” The playground buddy bench can be a topic for parents to talk with their children about reaching out to others and seeking new friendships.

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