Avery Priest, a Grade 4 student at Georges Vanier Elementary, painting one of the two buddy benches students have been working on for the school. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey students paint ‘buddy benches’

If someone is sitting alone on the bench, then people can join them as a ‘buddy’

Two newly painted benches will hopefully foster friendship on the playground at Georges Vanier Elementary School.

Lori Buckton, Aboriginal youth care worker at the school, said she heard about buddy benches “a while ago” and was “pretty impressed.”

“Some teacher initiated the buddy bench — it was called a friendship bench at the time — and the whole idea is if a student is feeling lonely and wants a buddy, then they sit down on the bench and it’s an unwritten understanding that if they see somebody on the bench, then they say hi because they know that (the student) wants a buddy or someone to talk to. It’s not easy for some kids to say, ‘I want to play with you’ or ‘I want a buddy,’” Buckton said.

“That sort of takes that awkwardness out of finding somebody to play with.”

Buckton, who also ran a craft circle with the students in December to make bracelets to raise funds for the Surrey Food Bank, said more students signed up to help paint the benches.

“Same as with the craft circle, I thought I’d have a select few kids who wanted to be a part of it, now I have a bunch of kids who want to be a part of it,” she said.

Buckton said she couldn’t have all the students come and paint the benches, so she had some students come up with concept designs “through the eyes and minds of children” for the benches. About five weeks ago, Buckton said, she started doing an art circle with the students to come up with the concept designs.

She said she was “shocked” at all the common themes and designs, plenty of which included rainbows and Earth.

Then last week, the benches were primed and students started painting on March 14.

Grace Wani, a Grade 4 student, said she’d heard of buddy benches before since her previous school had one.

Asked what she would do if she saw someone sitting alone on the bench, Grace said, “I can try to be their friend.”

READ ALSO: Elementary students donate bracelet sales to Surrey Food Bank, Dec. 21, 2018



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Just Posted

South Surrey senior says violent bike crash was a ‘blessing in disguise’

Six people stopped to help Dave Rogers after he crashed his bike and broke his collarbone

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

Public hearing planned for Campbell Heights development

Project to see the removal of more than 500 trees

City of White Rock tells residents to keep distance from pier project

Residents and tourists are asked to stay at least 100 metres away from barge

White Rock students deliver donation to low-income families

Seniors, kids and more to benefit from Peace Arch Elementary students’ efforts

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Semis catch fire at wrecker off Highway 1 in west Abbotsford

Crews called to scene at around 2 p.m., finding up to six semis that had caught fire at the wrecker

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read