Left to right: Mary Helen Black of Kids Newspaper, Superintendent Brian Talbott, and Anglea Matson of Kaiser Permanente stand behind a Buddy Bench.
Thanks to Mary Helen Black of Kids Newspaper and Angela Matson of Kaiser Permanente, Nine Mile Falls Elementary has another Buddy Bench. When Mrs. Black was visiting with Principal Keith Browning a few months ago, she noticed a unique bench on the playground and asked him about it. He explained that it was a Buddy Bench. The bench creates a visual cue to other children on the playground, and lets them know that someone sitting on it is feeling left out or needs a friend with which to play. It is a "cool tool" that teaches kindness and compassion.
Mrs. Black was hooked. She partnered with Angela Matson of Kaiser Permanente to distribute metal Buddy Benches to schools in the region. At present, they are gifting three benches per month! Nine Mile Elementary School has added one of these metal Buddy Benches to its exstisting wood Buddy Bench built by a community member. Lake Spokane Elementary School has a Buddy Bench courtesy of The Pizza Factory.
Mrs. Black and Mrs. Matson were recognized at the January School Board meeting. Superintendent Brian Talbott thanked the ladies for their donation to our distirct and for their committment to kids. With Buddy Benches the schools can create a playground culture of caring and inclusion that ingrains kind habits. The ladies shared that it was their pleasure, that "everyone has struggles, and we all need a place to gather."