This is not just a place to sit, it’s a place to promote kindness and grow friendship! Since 2015, students of West Woodland Elementary have been able to make friends simply by taking a seat. Two Buddy Benches were installed on the school playground and when kids feel lonely, they just take a seat on the bench, signifying that they’re in need of a buddy to play with.
The idea for the benches was the result of parents identifying an opportunity to created a more inclusive environment within the school community. The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) got to work, meeting with Seattle Public Schools and working through the approval process. The PTA raised 100% of the funds needed to purchase the benches and install them at the school.
Leslie Easton, School Counselor, shared that students in grades K – 2 most actively use the bench as intended. The bench is an opportunity to build compassion, empathy, community, and while it won’t solve every problem a student has, it is a wonderful step in the right direction.
Learn more about the Buddy Bench program: http://buddybench.org/us/christians-story/