4th grader helps South Jefferson Elementary install ‘Buddy Benches’

West Virginia

An elementary school in Jefferson County has a new addition to their playground, and it is all thanks to one student.

For many, this may look like any other bench. But for students at South Jefferson Elementary, the bench plays as a huge role. 

“It ended up being a really good idea and I have seen it working very well,” said 4th grader, Khloe Fischer. 

They are called “Buddy Benches.” The benches allow a student who wants to talk or play with another student to sit on the bench in hopes of finding a ‘buddy.”

“A lot of times, I will be at recess and there would be people sitting and I would see the same people, like everyday, not having anybody to play with,” said Fischer.  

Khole Fischer, 9, presented schools officials with a proposal for the benches after she spoke with members of her 4-H group for community service.

“I was very proud of her for having that level of empathy and being forward thinking about helping other students at such a young age,” said Principal Keri Mahoney. 

The benches not only bring students together, but also can be helpful for staff at the school. 

“Maybe fewer discussions in the guidance counselors office. Maybe fewer conflicts at the playground with social issues. It is new for us to, but we are excited about the prospect of it,” said Mahoney. 

Fischer was able to select the location for the benches and says that students are using the new system.

“There is always there someone their to play with and you just have to let them know that they need someone,” said Fischer. 

The buddy benches were installed at the beginning of the school year. 

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