Some Bay City schools to add 'Buddy Benches' for students - WNEM TV 5

Some Bay City schools to add 'Buddy Benches' for students

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Sometimes you just need a friend.

It’s the idea behind some new benches, called Buddy Benches, being distributed to several Mid-Michigan schools.

Children sit on them when they feel lonely – a signal they would like another child to play with them.

“The kids are just amazing, and for them to take ownership of doing good in their community is so important, and just exciting to see,” Dani Diamico said.

The number of Buddy Benches within the United States has now reached over 2,000. The Bay City School District is hoping to add to that number by placing three more within the schools of Washington, Kolb and Bangor Elementary.

"It's actually something that I thought about doing a couple years ago, and Mrs. Dani here, one of the librarians, had gotten in contact with me and I’ve had some partnerships with her over the years. And she said ‘What do you think about doing a Buddy Bench?’ and ‘Would Bangor Central be interested?’ And I said absolutely, I think it's a great program and a great learning experience for the kids,” Melissa Vrable said.

The benches being made are not only going to the local schools within the area, but children from those schools are helping to contribute as well.

"It's wonderful that the kids from the schools are here painting the benches today, because then when it goes back to their school, they know what it means and it just takes one person to be kind." Diamico said.

Not only that, but the benches can also serve as a learning experience for the kids. Teaching them how to form relationships with others outside of the classroom.

"We'll definitely be talking to the students more about why you have a Buddy Bench and what the purpose would be for students to go and use them and why they would go and sit there. And really, what the whole purpose of having that bench out there is for,” Diamico said.

The concept for the Buddy Bench originated in Germany. They can now be found at schools and parks across the country.

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