Buddy Bench Brings Kindness to the Playground

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Be safe, be kind, be ready. One District 204 elementary school’s motto is sending a message on the playground.

Take a seat on the newest edition to McCarty Elementary School’s playground.

For any child who’s looking for a friend at recess, this bench is the spot to be. Meant to spread kindness and invite new friendships, the Buddy Bench was the brainchild of this second grade class, excited to spread their happiness to other McCarty students.

“I’m really proud of them,” said Jessica Cameron, the second grade teacher of the class. “The idea came solely from them. They were the ones that brought it up. I feel like it came from a book we were reading in class and we always work on being kind. And it’s part of our school motto, ‘be safe, be kind, be ready.’ So they’re always looking for ways to show that kindness and they were just persistent and diligent and it finally came to fruition.”

Sponsored by the Exchange Club of Naperville and Project Help, the Buddy Bench was unveiled with a special dedication done by the Alive Center’s Excel Exchange Club, a group for teens who want to improve our community.

“I’m really glad that I’m able to spread this kindness, and see the happiness that it brings to the students. And I’m really excited that their excited about it, and I’m excited that they’re excited to spread kindness through this Buddy Bench,” said President-Elect of the Excel Exchange Club of Naperville, Abby Peterson.

There are hopes to spread more buddy benches throughout District 203 and 204 schools in the future, so no one’s left sitting out when it’s time for fun.

The first Buddy Bench was placed at a school in Pennsylvania in 2013, thanks to the idea of a boy named Christian Bucks.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports