‘Buddy Bench’ promotes friendship, playing together at Galva Elementary

Mike Landis, Editor
Carol Kitterman’s third grade class at Galva Elementary School are pictured with the new “Buddy Bench” at the playground. The students are, front from left, Ethan Simoneaux, Austin Owens, Chloe Valladares and Jayden Gabel. Bench row, Braxton Hulstrom, Jayden Kamphaus, Owen Sizemore and Ty Dowell-Keup. Back row, Angie McArthur, Colt Strand, Jayden Wexell, Mrs. Kitterman, Brayden Robinson, Kaylyn Gale, Sage Kaiser, Alyssa Hudson, Amber Plummer, Alyvia Kelly and Max Winter. Donovan Moody was absent from the photo.

Finding a buddy to play with during recess at Galva Elementary School has become a little easier.

A “Buddy Bench” was presented to students at the school Sept. 8.

The wooden bench was made by Bruce Smith Construction, in collaboration with Galva High School ag teacher Trish Main.

Smith put the bench together, and Main’s students made a metal design that reads “Buddy Bench” cut from the high school’s plasma cam machine.

The sign was placed on the back of the bench, and that completed an idea third grade teacher Carol Kitterman discovered while sifting through education articles and information.

Kitterman read about how students sometimes have difficulty asking other students to join in and play games. Students on the shy and quiet side — or maybe a student new to the school — can sit on the bench, which prompts others to come ask them to join in their playground activities.

The bench sits on the north side of the playgound.

“Building friendships and playing together are always things young students can build upon,”Kitterman said. “So far it’s been a big hit.

Kitterman said many students have taken a seat on the bench to “try it out.”

Kitterman, along with her class, hopes the new bench helps all students have a more enjoyable and fun experience during recess each day.