When kids are running and games are being played, some might get left out. The Buddy Bench is a simple idea aimed at eliminating loneliness and fostering friendship.
South Olive Elementary School in West Palm Beach received the first Buddy Bench in Palm Beach County; it was unveiled during a reading of “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” by Loverly Sheridan.
Sheridan was there to read the story aloud. “We have to encourage kids to be a buddy, we have to encourage them to be friends to each other, to include each other and be mindful of their words and actions,” Sheridan said.
Students should sit on the bench if they’re looking to make new friends, if their friends aren’t at school that day, or if they want to play something other than what their friends are playing.
If students aren’t sitting on the bench, they’re encouraged to ask those sitting on it to play.
Christina Lambert, West Palm Beach District 5 Commissioner, donated the bench.
“As a City Commissioner, I believe in building strong neighbors, and that starts with our kids,” Lambert said. “It’s important to have conversations with kids on what bullying looks like, and how to be a friend to kids who might not look like us, act like us or have different abilities.”
The Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County was also involved with the project. Contact them to sponsor a Buddy Bench at a local school: (561) 832-3755