One group in the Yuba CA area has made it their mission to provide Buddy Benches for schools in the area to promote inclusivity and fight bullying.
And with the support of local businesses and individuals, they are succeeding.
The group is called the Yuba-Sutter Stand for the Silent. This is a chapter of the national Stand for the Silent organization that was started by a group of high school students in Oklahoma City, OK.
The Yuba-Sutter Stand for the Silent program offers education on bullying, resources, and support.
The chapter involves all the individuals affected by bullying. Not only victims, but offenders plus family members, educators and administrators.
As part of their program, they work to provide Buddy Benches to area schools.
The idea behind Buddy Benches is a very simple, yet effective tool against bullying that also helps children interact with one another.
The concept is simple. Provide a bench that is designated as a place where a student can sit when they feel lonely, bullied or have difficulty initiating contact with others. Usually, these benches have the words “buddy bench” added with a sign or laser-cut into the metal backrest.
When the other students see someone sitting on the bench, they are encouraged to go over to their classmate and initiate a conversation or involve them in their play activities.
“The concept behind the Buddy Benches is integral to student interactions in the social environment and in the context of playground experiences,” said Wendy Graham, the bench coordinator for the local Stand for the Silent chapter and a retired teacher.
Wendy said the group is receiving a favorable reception for donations from the businesses and individuals they approach for support.
“The reaction from businesses has been very encouraging (and due I believe) to the universal understanding of the need to feel accepted/inclusion,” she explained. “I have had only positive responses from them.”
Buddy Benches made with steel are durable and sturdy
Some schools have come up with their own buddy benches, painting the words on a wooden bench or creating some other variation.
But for durability, stability and low maintenance, installing a metal Buddy Bench is a smart alternative used by many schools.
That’s the option that Wendy and the Yuba-Sutter Stand for the Silent chapter chose from The Park and Facilities Catalog. It obviously works for them. They’ve ordered more than a dozen of these Buddy Benches.
The seats and backs are made from a thick 12-gauge steel plate. The frame is manufactured from 12-gauge pre-galvanized structural steel tubing.
Those sections are then coated with a tough polyethylene thermoplastic covering. That smooth plastic coating can withstand continual use by students and is impact resistant. It also repels fluids, UV rays, rain, snow, ice and heat.
In addition, the seat bench comes with a perforated surface. This way, fluids don’t pool on the metal and the bench stays cool during warmer months.
The frame is coated with an electrostatically applied powder coat that is later oven cured and baked right into the steel. This prevents rust and corrosion.
All pieces are held together with stainless steel hardware fasteners that are also rust and corrosion-resistant.
The benches can be ordered with a surface, in-ground or portable mounting option.
One great advantage of a metal Buddy Bench is also the ability to choose from different colors. Perhaps matching school colors.
Those colors include beige, black, blue, brown, burgundy, green, red and ultra-blue.
As you can see, the sturdy metal structure, the protective easy-to-clean thermoplastic coating, and the smooth edges all make for the perfect school bench.
“Park Catalog buddy benches are superior in durability, comfort, ease of installation, AND cuteness of all benches that I have seen in other catalogs and observed around our area,” Wendy said. “I LOVE that the sitting part of the bench has game boards as part of their structure, too!”
“I would also like to add that your sales department representatives are wonderful! I have worked primarily with Terry O’Neill. She is extremely knowledgeable, coached me through possibilities; the process of ordering, ease of purchasing, reassurances with dealing with schools/sponsors, and the whole learning curve of my Buddy Bench Program!” she added.
“The Park Catalog company has been the best I have ever worked with over my 22 years of teaching! I will not work through any other such manufacturing company. Customer satisfaction is 10 plus in every category!”
At the Park and Facilities Catalog, we congratulate the Yuba-Sutter SFTS on the success of their program and the important support they provide to schools and students.
We’re proud to be a part of their initiative to continually add this powerful tool to their campuses.
Just one Buddy Bench can go a long way into making a child feel welcome, safe and develop friendships that could last a lifetime.