A Bench for Buddies

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Arrowhead Elementary School students have a new way to make friends during recess thanks to alumna Emma Stevens, who created three buddy benches for the school as part of a Girl Scout Silver Award project.

Buddy benches are a growing movement in schools across the nation and are placed around playground areas. The concept aims to promote inclusion and kindness by allowing those looking for a friend to play with a place to sit. Students who see a peer sitting upon these benches are encouraged to invite the individual to join their activity.

“I can recall times from my early elementary years when I would have liked to have a buddy bench to use – I think anyone can,” said Emma. “It feels good to give back to my old school; I have great memories from my time here.”

Emma, a current eighth-grader at R.C. Murphy Junior High School, presented the bright yellow painted benches during three grade-level, ribbon-cutting ceremonies. During the first ceremony, Brookhaven Supervisor Edward Romaine and Councilwoman Valerie Cartright declared the occasion Emma Stevens’ Day in the town.