Max Spector, Gabriel Mandal, Emma Bennett, and Brandon Pieczka
Building Friendships on the Buddy Bench
Remember grade school recess? It can be tough for some kids and a breeding ground for bullying. So four 4th graders from Lincolnwood School District 74 decided “Buddy Benches” were one way to help build more friendships, tackle bullying and teach empathy during recess.
Max Spector, Gabriel Mandal, Emma Bennett, and Brandon Pieczka read about the Buddy Bench Program, a national movement to eliminate loneliness and foster friendships, and presented a proposal to the school board (with the help of their teacher) to add Buddy Benches throughout the District 74 campus. The students successfully secured approval and funding for eight benches.
Now, if a student has no one to play with during recess, he or she will sit on the “Buddy Bench” and a fellow student will sit on the bench or invite the student to join the recess activities.
The benches have become a great opportunity to build more friendships and meet new classmates. Max, Gabriel, Emma and Brandon have decided that the more friends you have around you, the less a bully will be able to “act like a bully.” And they’ve helped make recess more fun.
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rewarding great individuals
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