Buddy Benches – a family project to benefit local school
by Submitted by Reader | June 8, 2018 1:03 pm
Last Updated: June 8, 2018 at 12:12 pm
These are no ordinary park benches. They are benches that have a more important purpose. Coined Buddy Benches, these seats are built with the idea that small acts of kindness can go a long way.
“This is a project that is near and dear to our hearts,” stated Clarendon County resident Tiffany Myers, whose children Colin and Evan attend Walker Gamble Elementary. “With the issue of bullying on the forefront of parents’ minds, Buddy Benches could be a solution, or at the very least helpful, at preventing those situations,” said Myers.
The plan is to place the benches on school playgrounds and teach students how they are to be used. If students are in need of a friend or are feeling lonely or excluded, they are taught to take a seat on the Buddy Bench. Students are also taught that if they see a classmate seated on one of the benches, that they should approach them and ask them to play. “It’s a wonderful concept that we’ve seen at other schools and we wanted WGE kids to have them as well,” stated Myers.
Myers said that she approached her husband Nick, Shaw AFB and Clarendon County volunteer firefighter, and her dad, County Councilman Benton Blakely, about constructing the benches and they were quick to volunteer their time and resources to help. “This is a great idea and we are happy to help with such a worthwhile cause,” Councilman Blakely said. He also stated that it was great to have the whole family involved. “Three generations working together on a family project is always fun; helping our community is an extra bonus,” he said.
The benches have been donated to the school and WGE Art teacher Jesse Williams will take the lead with painting and decorating them.
“Violent incidents and tragedies keep occurring in our country and it’s heartbreaking and terrifying,” Myers said. “I believe if we catch troubled kids early enough, maybe we can prevent some of these tragedies from occurring.” She went on to say that the theme of the benches is inspired by an anonymous quote “If you can be anything…be kind.”