School-aged children can be fearful and uncertain as they return to the classroom during these stressful times. Some may even have forgotten how to interact with their peers. But thanks to a creative partnership by two Palm Beach County organizations, they always have a place to go if they need a friend – the “Buddy Bench.”
It’s one of the perks schools receive at the end of a multi-week program designed to combat bullying and teach students the importance of being a friend. The Buddy Bench is the result of a partnership between Jeff Industries – a Hypoluxo-based nonprofit that helps people with emotional and mental disorders live better lives – and Buddy Ambassadors, a local organization founded by author Loverly Sheridan.
Buddy Ambassadors promotes safe spaces in schools through kindness, empathy, inclusivity, and compassion. At the end of the curriculum, schools receive their Buddy Bench, a spot where a child can sit if they need a friend. Other students who recognize the importance of friendship see a fellow student in need and sit down, too. It’s a simple act of kindness that goes a long way in getting everybody back on track
The curriculum was put together by Buddy Ambassadors, while the clients of Jeff Industries use their impressive woodworking and design skills to build the benches.
This collaboration has been a meaningful experience for all involved – a true win-win!
Since the partnership began in 2018, more than 35 benches have been placed in schools. Kudos to Jeff Industries and to Buddy Ambassadors for their hard work and creative collaboration