Going Green: Buddy Bench Update

What started out as a project at Haley Elementary School to help kids not feel lonely at recess now has one elementary schooler appearing as a guest on the Today Show later this month.

Posted: May 3, 2018 9:56 AM

What started out as a project at Haley Elementary School to help kids not feel lonely at recess now has one elementary schooler appearing as a guest on the Today Show later this month.

One cap at a time--that's how the whole Buddy Bench project began at the start of the school year. Third grader Sammie Vance made a short promotional comic, in hopes of collecting caps and making kids not feel lonely at recess.

Fast forward to today, and her school now has three benches. Children sit on the benches when they feel lonely at recess.

"It's going really well at school," says Sammie. "There has been a lot of kids that have been using the bench, and I've gone up to ask them, and I've people ask them to go up and play."

The Buddy Bench has gone national.

"We've been contacted by people all over the United States, either wanting to donate caps, or start it in their schools," says Sammie's mother, Heidi Vance.

"I had written to the 'Today Show' right after we got kind of telling Sammie's story. [I] didn't think anything of it, and I kind of forgot about it. And then I got an email that they loved the Buddy Bench concept, and what Sammie did. [There was] confirmation yesterday that they want to fly us out to New York City for us to be on the show on May 22."

And Sammie is excited to continue spreading the word about Buddy Benches.

"I want everyone to have a friend," she says.

If you would like to start a Buddy Bench Project for your school, click here.

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