Two GHS Freshmen Design Buddy Benches for Younger Students
September 30, 2019
Two Glassboro High School Freshmen Design and Deliver Buddy Benches for Younger Students
Glassboro High School freshmen McKenna McIlvaine and Alyssa Riley, from Girl Scout Troop 66085, spent more than 50 hours creating Buddy Benches for J. Harvey Rodgers School, Dorothy L. Bullock School, and the Glassboro Child Development Centers.
When the two explored ideas for their Girl Scouts Silver Award Project, they decided to plan something that would have a local impact. Both Riley and McIlvaine loved the idea of Buddy Benches because they wanted to help younger children learn to include others and form friendships in this technology-driven world.
A retired, South Jersey carpenter, who wishes to remain anonymous, generously donated his time and helped the two scouts with the woodwork. The girls crafted three benches and painted each with a unique, cheerful design. However, the benches also share common features. Each has a built-in game board to encourage children to play, and the top of each bench is emblazoned with a powerful message, "The Only Way To Have A Friend Is To Be One."
The two scouts completed most of the work over the summer and presented the benches in September. Students were captivated by the sweet designs and immediately asked for a turn to use the benches. Administrators also appreciated the benches.
"The Buddy Bench initiative is about community. It’s about working together and supporting one another," said Dorothy L. Bullock School Principal Rich Taibi. "Bullock is lucky to have such wonderful role models supporting our students. As they say, 'it takes a village,' and we are thankful to have Girl Scout Troop 66085 and the Glassboro Child Development Centers be part of our village."
Rodgers students gravitated to the Buddy Bench right away.
Alyssa Riley and McKenna McIlvaine looked on as children from the After School Program at Bullock played a game of tic-tac-toe on the Buddy Bench.
All three benches are pictured here!