Messiah News

Endowment Committee Dispersal Story – Buddy Bench at Lake Shore Elementary

A "buddy bench" is sometimes called a friendship bench. It's a fairly new concept to foster inclusion and reduce loneliness among children. The bench is placed on the playground. 

When a child sits on the bench, it signals to all other children that that person is looking for a friend. Shy children, children new to the school, or children with friends that are absent, can sit on the bench and silently alert others to their need for companionship. It's been shown to be a highly successful way for children to learn empathy. Surprisingly, it does NOT tend to increase bullying. On the contrary, stories from around the world show that children respond to others with friendship.

Lake Shore Elementary School is one of our One Mile Mission schools. For years, they have wanted a Buddy Bench but the funds were unavailable. Their new principal this year, Anna Supplee, requested the funds from Messiah Lutheran and the Endowment Committee gave them $1400 last spring to purchase one. The shipment was delayed. 

The principal and her husband picked up the bench when it came in to Home Depot (to keep the costs down) and the school district has installed it.

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