Last year a video about Willowgrove School made it’s way from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in Canada all the way to our very own Heartwood Montessori Families Facebook page. The piece, originally aired by the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), told the story of a Buddy Bench that had been installed on the school’s playground. The intention of the bench was to provide a place for children to go when they were lonely and didn’t know who to play with. The idea was that if other children saw a student on the bench, they would recognize that a fellow student needed help to feel included and they would be able to act.
A lot of our families thought this was a wonderful idea and envisioned a Buddy Bench on our playground here at Heartwood. As a result, Scott Rutherford, a parent at the school, generously offered to build us one! A beautiful new bench was delivered to the school in no time at all and was ready for our students to make it their own. Ms. Courtney, our dedicated art teacher, was just as excited as the kids to get started.
The bench is painted in vibrant purples, pinks, greens and blues. When I asked Ms. Courtney about the circle theme she had chosen for the project she said, “ When our kids first start learning about fractions, they don’t use numbers. They use shapes. The circle represents “the whole and at Heartwood we are all a part of that whole”. I wanted to use it in our art because we are all friends here at Heartwood. We are all connected. The kids know that, too.”
The bench will be unveiled to the students as a group once it’s completed. There is no doubt that Heartwood’s Buddy Bench will provide comfort to many of our students and the opportunity to practice kindness for even more.