Naperville Buddy Bench

For some, the playground can be a lonely place; but students in Ms. Erwin’s first grade class wanted to make sure that wasn’t the case at their school. So they worked together to create the Buddy Bench.

“The Buddy Bench is where you go when you have no friends on the playground and when you sit on it people come up and say, ‘hey do you want to play with me?’ said Jay, 7.

The class got to work repurposing an old bench on the playground; giving it a little personality.

“We really liked the yellow color, it’s called ‘cheerful’ so it’s fitting and it matches the playground. Then the kids wanted to add their touch to it so we added the handprints to it, then we pulled some friendship quotes online and decided on this Emerson one, and the rest is what you see here,” said Kristen Erwn, 1st Grade Teacher at May Watts.

A school parent made the metal silhouettes on the backboard and the project was complete just before school let out, allowing the bench to be used for many students to come.

“We made this to inspire people,” said Ben, 7.

The bench is a way to teach students as young as elementary school to make new friends.

“It’s easy to be friends with who you are already friends with but it’s not always easy to be friends with someone who you maybe don’t know and ask them to be a friend. So I am really hoping that it encourages kindness and character in these kids,” said Erwin.

Naperville News 17’s Natalie Vitale Reports.

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