Hy-Vee Donates ‘Buddy Bench’ to School on National Stop Bullying Day

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PERRY, Iowa – Perry Elementary is receiving a Buddy Bench on National Stop Bullying Day.

A Buddy Bench is on the school playground and if a child feels lonely they can go sit on the bench. The idea is if someone feels left out, another classmate will come up and get he or she to play with them.

Fourth grade Perry teacher Elizabeth Marburger said the idea for a Buddy Bench came when the local Hy-Vee paired with the school on a recycling project last year.

“I was just online recycling with different things with recycling, and I saw this Buddy Bench and I really liked the idea of it,” Marburger said.

Marburger contacted Hy-Vee and asked if they wanted to donate a recycled Buddy Bench and the company liked the idea.

The bench being donated is made out of recyclable material.

“I’m just hoping it really gives the kids a way to get involved. Maybe a game that they wouldn’t normally play with, play in. It gives them a way that they can play something that is new to them,” Marburger said.

Marburger’s class came up with guidelines for the bench to make everyone feel included. The guidelines are:

  • If you need a friend to play with at recess, sit on the bench
  • If you see someone on the bench, go ask them to play
  • If you are on the bench and someone else comes to the bench to sit, ask them to play
  • If you are on the bench and someone asks you to play, the answer is yes!
  • Be a bench watcher. Keep an eye out for those who need a buddy

“The more we train kids to watch out for each other, whether it is a kid sitting on a bench that needs a friend, or it’s a friend that’s not being treated well. I think it’s important we start training the kids to watch for that and to really help those kids out,” Marburger said.

The bench is being dedicated Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Anyone is more than welcome to attend the ceremony at the school.