South Davis' Buddy Benches Have Arrived
South Davis Elementary unveiled their new Buddy Benches alongside the new inclusive playground in December.
The purpose of each Buddy Bench is to provide a dedicated space for students who are feeling lonely or would like to make a new friend. When their classmates see them sitting on the bench, they know they can ask them to play.
The initiative for the Buddy Benches began in 2021. Students at South Davis connected with Sammie Vance through the Kids Need Mentors program. Sammie had created a Buddy Bench for her school and has helped others around the country do the same. She is a 14-year old author who wrote her first book in 2021, Inspire the World: A Kids Journey to Making a Difference. The South Davis community was so inspired by Sammie’s work that they decided to take steps toward making their own.
Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, a team of 5th-grade students, led by Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Pietrantone, observed the usage of the existing Buddy Bench. Recognizing the need to refresh awareness of its purpose, the group decided to have two new Buddy Benches built. The South Davis Buddy Benches were created by South Davis students by recycling plastic bottle caps and lids through Green Tree Plastic’s ABC Promise Partnership Program.
In the 2022-2023 school year, the BPCC, (Bullying Prevention Student Committee) group meticulously sorted all plastic caps and lids, ensuring compliance with the recycling program's guidelines. Several classrooms also contributed to this collective effort. As the school year concluded, the South Davis PTO played an important role in supporting the final steps and facilitating the shipment of the benches to the school.
As of Friday, December 8, 2023, the completed Buddy Benches were installed and ready to be used!
Pictured above are student members of the Bullying Prevention Student Committee sitting on and around one of the two Buddy Benches at South Davis.