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‘Buddy Bench’ to help foster CH friendships

April 4, 2014

BY Josh Presley

A colorful new bench has been installed at Church Hill Elementary in an effort to combat loneliness among the students and foster friendships.
Church Hill Guidance Counselor Leslie Scott first read about the Buddy Bench, an idea created by a Pennsylvania second-grader, on social media and thought it would be a perfect addition to Church Hill.
“Two of the main things I teach are respect and empathy, and the Buddy Bench perfectly ties into both,” Scott said.
According to the Buddy Bench website, the bench is placed on the playground so that lonely kids will have somewhere to go.
“For kids at any age, going on the playground and feeling lonely and having no one to play with is terrifying,” Scott said. “It takes real courage to walk up to other kids and ask them to play.”
Scott said she brought the idea to the Church Hill Elementary Parent Teacher Association a few weeks ago and they supported the idea.
Church Hill PTA President Helen Facella said that with bullying being the major problem that it is these days something like the Buddy Bench is a great addition to the playground.
“Leslie Scott really teaches these kids to be aware of each other and we thought the bench would really help get her message across,” Facella said.
Facella said that local artist and Church Hill parent Christy Dubois was the first person she thought of when it came time to build the bench.
Dubois said that she had seen the buzz about the Buddy Bench on the Internet and was excited when she got the call about making the bench.

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