Students at Centennial Elementary School launched Kindness Week with a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the installation of two buddy benches. A child with no one to play with can sit on the buddy bench, where other children can look for new friends.
Nampa-based ON Semiconductor donated the resources for the benches. Their contribution was especially timely following the installation of two new playgrounds at the school in August. Those playgrounds were funded with taxpayer-supported levy funds.
Principal Paul Harman noted ON Semiconductor’s long-standing support of the school’s students and families. “They faithfully fill the food pantry, stock the closet and give away loads of backpacks and books,” he said. “These buddy benches are simply another way ON-Semiconductor is fostering friendships and care for our students.”
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that a child is bullied every seven minutes. A buddy bench gives students a safe space to foster friendships, reduce bullying, and eliminate loneliness. Centennial’s school counselor, Margo McLeod, meets with all students each week to teach relationship skills and anti-bullying curriculum. She now also is teaching students to use buddy benches as a tool to foster friendships and decrease bullying.