San Jose, April 12, 2017: Moreland School District announced the installation of Buddy Benches at Anderson & Baker Elementary Schools. The Buddy Bench is a bench designed to “eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground.” (buddybench.org).
Anderson’s Student Council, led by Fourth Grade Teacher Jessica Smith, raised money to purchase the Buddy Bench after Student Council members decided they wanted to make a positive difference on campus. The bench was available for students to use on Monday, April 10, 2017 and Student Council members eagerly showed Anderson’s students the purpose and benefits of using the bench.
Baker’s First Grade teachers Debbie Pavlos, Connie Reak, and SDC Grade 1/2 teacher Alyssia Cetinich turned their students’ goal of purchasing a Buddy Bench into a student-led fundraising opportunity. Students opened a “Buddy Bench Store” in February, selling decorated pet rocks and gently-used books donated by families. Baker described their Buddy Bench as “a place where kids sit at recess when they can’t find someone to play with or they are too shy to ask someone to play with them. They can pair up with someone on the bench or wait for a friend to come over and invite them to play.” Baker will install their Buddy Bench this month.
The Moreland School District encourages and supports opportunities to teach students about kindness and inclusion. From Random Acts of Kindness clubs at the middle school level to Project Cornerstone’s Asset Building programs available at all elementary schools, Moreland is proud to be a caring community for students, staff, and families.