Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

Linden Unveils The "Buddy Bench"

Students at Linden Street School will have the opportunity to enjoy the new "Buddy Bench" on the playground this year, thanks to a grant from the Plainville Community Fund.

According to Principal Paula Eshoo, the Buddy Bench project began as an enhancement to the school's CARES focus (Cooperation, Attitude, Respect, Empathy and Safety), reducing playground behavioral concerns, and expanding kindness and friendships. In addition, the Buddy Bench supports the school's "Green efforts" as the bench is constructed from cedar with two planters that will be maintained by the school's Green Committee, a group that focuses on conservation efforts.

According to the website, the Buddy Bench was a simple idea, originally developed by a boy who moved frequently, to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. In addition, the bench is used to spread the message of inclusion, empathy and kindness. The Buddy Bench concept came to fruition in the United States in 2013, after an elementary school student at the Roundtown Elementary School in York, Pennsylvania, learned of a similar program while researching schools in Germany. Since then, the Buddy Bench project has expanded to a number of schools throughout the United States, and now includes Linden Street School.

"Students are taught a "Second Step" curriculum that provides a common language for areas like problem solving, being empathetic, using "I" statements, and more. The Buddy Bench fosters use of these skills in the real world! The bench is simply a symbol of CARES, peace and activism," noted Eshoo.

-Posted on September 25, 2014 at 02:10 PM

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