Buddy Benches spread smiles at Carpenter Elementary

By Georgia Thelen
Review Staff Writer
Carpenter Year Round Elementary School recently had three “Buddy Benches” installed on their playground.
Lake Orion High School junior Avery DePauw, from Boy Scout Troop 128, installed the Buddy Benches to complete his Eagle Scout Project. DePauw is a former student of Carpenter Elementary and wanted to use his Eagle Scout Project to give back to his school and community.
The funding for the Buddy Benches came from pop can collections at Carpenter and through Depauw’s friends and family. Around $700 was raised for the construction of the three benches, and fellow boy scouts helped with building them.
The purpose of the Buddy Benches is for children to feel included by classmates when they are feeling sad, lonely, or even lost without their best friend, who is sick at home.
“If a kid is having a tough day, any struggle, other kids know they can use the benches to build relationships,” said Carpenter Elementary Principal Adam Weldon.
Students at Carpenter Elementary grades K-5 picked up on the concept right away. Carpenter staff finds it very uplifting to see fellow classmates interacting and making sure no one is left out. Peers ask each other to talk about their problems and include them in a game of ball on the playground.
“The big thing is it’s another avenue for kids to eliminate loneliness,” said Weldon.
Buddy Benches are sweeping the nation in many elementary schools to spread happiness and start conversations between classmates that may not have happened before.

Avery DePauw sits on one of three Buddy Benches he constructed at Carpenter Elementary. Photo provided.
Avery DePauw sits on one of three Buddy Benches he constructed at Carpenter Elementary.
Photo provided.