Adding a Buddy Bench to a school might be a goal for children and parents to consider if they are looking for a project that will have a positive impact with young students.
That’s exactly what 9-year-old Ariana from California accomplished recently as a member of the Girl Scouts.
She sold a bunch of Girl Scout cookies and raised enough to purchase a Buddy Bench from The Park and Facilities Catalog.
Ariana then donated the bench to her school.
Buddy Bench encourages inclusion among students
If you are not familiar with the concept behind this magic bench, here’s how it works.
The school adds this unique bench to their play or break area. The bench, like the one supplied by The Park and Facilities Catalog to hundreds of schools around the country, is designated by large letters that read “Buddy Bench.”
Teachers at the school then instruct students that if they feel alone or bullied, they have the option to go over and sit on the bench.
If other students see someone sitting on the bench, they are encouraged by the teachers to visit the child and invite them to play with them.
It’s a very simple, yet powerful idea.
Schools across the US are rapidly adopting this idea.
The strategy has proven to be effective in helping children who feel left out or marginalized, or perhaps children who just moved to a new school, and for children who are intimidated by other students.
The students who mingle with the child on the bench also develop empathy and participate in the whole model of inclusiveness.
It’s a win-win.
“My daughter purchased the bench for her school to help with social issues such as bullying and loneliness,” said Ariana’s mom Shanowa. “The children and staff love the bench. It is a great addition to the school.”
Girl Scout gives back to community
If you visit Ariana’s website, this is one active student Girl Scout.
She’s been involved in planting trees, beach cleanups, plant removal, drive for pet supplies, mural paintings, pallet garden construction, donating toys, providing water bottles (wrapped in dollar bills) to the homeless, blanket drives, book drives, cards for children with cancer, caroling at the local hospital, coat drives, giving Veterans Day cards to veterans, food drives.
When she’s not doing all that, she’s out there trying to save bees.
“One of the most rewarding parts of being a Girl Scout is the countless opportunities to help our community and those who live in it,” Ariana says on her website. “The world is so much bigger than just you and me.”
To say this young girl is a real go-getter is an understatement.
We are glad to see she recognizes the benefits of the Buddy Bench.
As we all know, friendships formed in elementary and middle school can last a lifetime.
No one likes to feel left out. But it can be difficult for some children to interact with others. This is a prime time in their lives when they can learn those social skills.
And a Buddy Bench can help them do it.
Thermoplastic Buddy Bench is built for school use
If you are considering adding a Buddy Bench to your school, be sure to think about a thermoplastic coated metal bench, such as those supplied by The Park and Facilities Catalog.
These benches are perfect for school environments. The metal is dipped into a thick plastic bath, which coats the steel with a hardened finish. That results in a smooth surface with edges covered by this protective coating.
Since these benches sit outside all year long, the coating withstands the elements and keeps the metal from rusting or corroding.
In addition, the thermoplastic repels harmful UV rays that can deteriorate wood fibers or other materials.
Finally, the hardy plastic coating is super easy to clean. That can be an issue with students. In fact, the coating is so durable it also repels spray paint from graffiti artists.
“The quality is everything we expected,” said Shanowa, “The bench is sure to last us a really long time. Thank you so much for all your help.”
Actually, we would like to thank Ariana and her mom for working so hard on that incredible number of civic projects.
From saving bees to helping her fellow classmates, Ariana shows all the different type of activities that just one young girl can do to make her town a better place to live.