No kid wants to eat their lunch alone, right? And they certainly don’t want to be stuck playing alone at recess. But the truth is 1 and 4 students are victims of bullying and many feel lonely on the playground. In an effort to combat loneliness and foster friendships among elementary school students, Paul Fly Elementary School in Norristown, PA recently installed a “Hero Bench” with some help from Expo Logic.
Across the country, “Buddy Benches” are being added to school grounds to create cultures of inclusion and sensitivity among elementary school students. The movement began in 2013 when a second-grader named Christian Bucks, from York, Pennsylvania, noticed some of his classmates felt lonely during recess. Christian decided to do something about it and that's when the first “buddy bench" was installed.
Each bench serves as a point of interaction between students who are looking for a friend. It also serves as a constant reminder to be kind and think about the needs of others.
So when Paul Fly Elementary was looking to install a bench of their own, Expo Logic was happy to make a donation. This month the bench was installed and already the students are responding.
“It’s so touching to see the students use the bench,” said Moira Wolf, a first grade teacher at Paul Fly. “We see them reaching out to anyone sitting alone on the bench by inviting them to play.”
In keeping with the school’s superhero theme, they call their bench the “Hero Bench” because as Moira asserts, “Reaching out to others is a heroic act.”