The Horace Mitchell School and PNSY Buddy Bench

The Horace Mitchell School and PNSY Buddy Bench (awaiting installation)

Our bulletin board by the cafeteria

YouTube video clip

Mitchell School now has a Buddy Bench thanks to the generosity of the US Navy and the efforts of Kristen Ferullo, our US Navy School Liaison Officer. Many other schools have successfully used a Buddy Bench on their playgrounds to promote an inclusive school climate.  We have combed through many articles and resources in preparation to roll out the Buddy Bench this
month. The way in which staff and parents promote the buddy bench will have a huge impact on how successful it is here at Mitchell.

We will be teaching about the Buddy Bench during our regularly scheduled classroom lessons over the next two weeks.

The Buddy Bench will be installed near the sandbox on November 10.  The bench says "Horace Mitchell School and PNSY  -- Buddy Bench -- In Honor of Our Military Kids" and was given on behalf of the military-connected children who move in and out of our school. The Buddy Bench, however, is for ALL students at our school.  We will be out on the playground in the first week or so to help students learn how to use the bench appropriately.  As always, if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, PLEASE ask!

Below are the guidelines that we'll be sharing with the students.  (We'll be using a Keynote with links to videos to help us teach the rules to the students. We'll also be doing some role plays and we have a paper/pencil follow up activity)  
When to sit on the Buddy Bench:
  • If you are new to school 
  • If you want to make new friends
  • If your friends aren’t here today
  • If you want to play something different than what your friends are playing
  • If you’re having a problem with your friends and you just can’t solve it right now
  • If you want to be a buddy
How to be a Buddy:
  • Start by saying hello. If you don’t know the person, introduce yourself.
  • Make conversation. What’s up? How are you? 
  • Ask them to play with you or suggest an activity you can do together.
  • Don’t make it the last time you hang out. Keep playing with your new friend.
More guidelines for when you're sitting on the bench:

  • Remember that it is not a place for socializing.
  • If you see something you want to do, get off the bench!
  • Play with the first classmate who invites you to play. ALWAYS say yes!

Remember at Mitchell School, you can't say you can't play.

video clips to show during lesson  (All about that bench - end of lesson)

More resources --

From Teaching Tolerance - Toolkit for “Wanted: Playground Buddy”

Great games, activities and worksheets to introduce the buddy bench from Connecting For Kids

Other YouTube videos -