Hancock Leadership Class of 2017 Presents the Buddy Bench
The Hancock Leadership Class of 2017, a program of the Findlay·Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, raised over $13,000 to fund, install, and develop a new curriculum for Buddy Benches at all 21 public and private elementary schools in Hancock County.
Buddy Benches are a “simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground.” There will be a designated bench at each playground that children can go to, whether they are lonely or just looking for a new friend. Other children will recognize their peer on the bench and are encouraged to interact with them. Several schools have Buddy Benches in place and are looking to supplement with the class’ curriculum.
What Teachers are Saying
Lori Hunt, Counselor at Jefferson Primary School, has a peer mentoring program already in place and believes having a Buddy Bench available during the most difficult social times of the day, lunch and recess, would be an added benefit to students. Students would be able to “let their leadership skills shine by helping their classmates during recess time.”
Likewise, Kathy Young, Washington Preschool, stated that the school strives to provide young learners multiple opportunities to engage in cooperative play with peers. Opportunities to socialize and play are the foundation on which children develop problem solving skills, language and self-esteem. If children need a friend, the Buddy Bench will empower them to communicate this to teachers and peers.