Thomas Livesay, a Boy Scout from Troop 41, recently completed his Eagle Scout service project. He and members of the Woodbridge troop designed, built and delivered two “Buddy Benches” to Beecher Road School, his former elementary school. The “Buddy Bench” is intended to help promote friendship, kindness and compassion on the playground.
In the years following the creation of the first “Buddy Bench,” many other schools across the U.S. have adopted the idea. The benches create a kinder playground culture by having a place for kids to sit if they don’t know what to do on the playground, are new to the school, or are just afraid to ask to join a game or group of kids. When other students see a child sitting on the bench, they know to invite the child to join their group or sit down and get to know the child. It helps combat bullying and playground loneliness, while promoting awareness of the needs of others.
The final piece of the project was to give an educational presentation to the students, teaching them how to use the benches and why they are important. On Friday, October 19, 2018, Livesay presented the Buddy Bench concept to the Beecher Road 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students. In his presentation, he explained the importance of reaching out to others, building a positive playground environment and making new friendships.