By Collin Brooks
Buddy Benches are more than just a couple of catchy words. They could help children overcome hurtful bullying or the feeling of being left out. Those are the hopes, at least, for a leadership class from Daniel Boone High School.
In Kelly Wagner’s class, her students come up with ideas that try to help the community; this year they decided to take on the project in hopes of helping to curb bullying at the feeder schools to the high school.
“We wanted to do the Buddy Bench project because we feel like everyone has struggled with bullying at some point,” senior Kaleigh Adams said. “And the Buddy Bench is just a really cool way to take initiative for kids to end bullying and being better friends to kids.”
The benches are wood with colored handprints sprinkled across them and they also say “Buddy Bench” on the back of the seat. The benches will be located on a playground and when a child is sitting on the seat, that alerts people that they are in need of a friend. That is when other children are supposed to step in and invite the child into their group.
Wagner said that the students in her class were happy to try and take on a task that they thought could help the children in their community.
“They decided to do the Buddy Bench project to try and combat bullying,” Wagner said. “The purpose of it is to start kids at a young age of including others and hopefully that will prevent bullying as they grow older. “We figured the young people would be more open to the idea.”
The benches were built by a carpentry class at Daniel Boone and decorated by Wagner’s class. The students called local lumber companies to get the wood they needed donated and they also communicated with the principals for the feeder schools to make sure they would be supportive of the new benches.
The group will also have a presentation to give to the children at the schools where they deliver the benches, explain how they are to be used.