'Buddy bench' helps Salem students get support

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by Cathy Marshall, KGW Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on April 29, 2014 at 7:31 AM

SALEM -- Students at Pringle Elementary School in Salem have been working together to create a cozy corner where kids can find comfort on a buddy bench.

“It’s just a place to feel safe and find a friend,” explained fourth grader Anna Kate Harlan.

“If you ask someone to play and get rejected you come here and someone will always find you,” added classmate Maci Wood.

Principal Stacey Lund praises the students for making it happen.  Fourth grader Lexi Dalton came to her with the idea.

 “My mom and I saw an article about a buddy bench in Pennsylvania online so my mom wrote a note and I took it to the principal,” explained Lexi.

The principal turned to a student teacher from Western Oregon University to help the students organize the project.

 “The coolest thing about the project is how many students volunteered,“ said Carrissa Texley. “I thought I would get a few and I had 50. It really brought the school together.”

The buddy bench at Pringle has been a recess refuge since March. “I’ve already seen it being used a lot and I’ve seen kids making friends,” remarked Lexi.

“We’re hoping other schools will now take the initiative so we can have more buddy benches on school playgrounds,” concluded Texley.

More: Buddy Bench project

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