Superintendent Winfried Feneberg
114 Cougar Court
New London, NH 03257
For Immediate Release
Friday, Sept. 7, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Video: Buddy Bench at Kearsarge New London Elementary School Brings Students Together During Recess
NEW LONDON — Students who find themselves alone during recess at New London Elementary School now have a place to go to meet new friends and participate in different activities.
The buddy bench, which was installed adjacent to the school’s playground area, promotes an inclusive school community by encouraging all students to have a buddy during recess.
“Our goal with the buddy bench is to ensure that students always have the option to join in an activity or to meet new friends,” said School Counselor Taylor Fluery. “We hope that children of all ages will take advantage of this tool as we continue to foster a welcoming and inclusive school environment.”
To start off the school year, the buddy bench was featured in a broadcast of Cougar News, anchored by fifth grade students Mason Christensen and Georgia Nichols with reporting from Reagan Lorio.
The buddy bench can be utilized in a variety of situations. If students are looking for someone to talk to or play with, if they want to make new friends, or even if they’d like to play a new game, but are unsure of how to join, they should simply take a seat on the bench.
“If you’re sitting on the bench, you don’t need to be embarrassed,” Nichols explains. “The buddy bench is a tool to make and keep friends so that people feel included and cared for.”
To avoid confusion, Lorio outlines a few guidelines for the buddy bench:
- While sitting on the bench, students should look around to see if there’s a game or activity they can join.
- If sitting on the bench, accept the first invitation extended to play.
- Students who simply want a break from playing, or who need a moment or two alone, should avoid sitting on the buddy bench.
- If students make a new friend as a result of sitting on the buddy bench, they’re encouraged to develop that friendship with the person who reached out.
- If two students are sitting on the bench, they should feel encouraged to turn to each other and invite the other to play.
The buddy bench was first installed last spring and made possible through a generous donation from Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty.