Buddy Benches to Promote Social-Emotional Learning
Submitted by Linda Lospinoso Lampert
Cadette Girl Scout, Isabella Scipioni, from Troop 40186 in Westfield, made Franklin Elementary School in Rahway two hardwood Buddy Benches as part of her effort to complete her Silver Award Project for Girl Scouts.
The Silver Award is the highest award a Cadette Girl Scout can earn. The award requires a Cadette to spend at least fifty hours or more completing a sustainable community project.
Isabella decided she wanted to promote kindness and inclusion on the playground by creating Buddy Benches. Isabella met with Franklin School’s Principal, Aleya Shoieb, who jumped on board with the idea. Principal Shoieb invited Isabella to speak about the concept of Buddy Benches and how they promote social-emotional learning to the Rahway Public School’s Education Committee this past May. Now, after working hard all summer, Isabella’s project is finally complete. Isabella proudly delivered the two benches in time for the school’s opening day.
Franklin School’s students and staff were very excited to learn about the new additions to their playground. Isabella’s PowerPoint presentation, along with a movie that she made, demonstrated and helped train the students and staff about the Buddy Bench’s proper use.
Isabella said she is very thankful for all the donations and support she received to create her benches. Home Depot in Colonia donated all the wood, nails, glue and blueprints to build the benches. Lowe’s Home Improvement in Woodbridge donated all the exterior paint. Principal Shoieb expressed her gratitude for the Buddy Benches and can’t wait to see them in action.
Photos courtesy of Alicia Scipioni