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Making connections

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"Buddy benches" are helping schools encourage inclusiveness among students.
Blog
Making connections
"Buddy benches" are helping schools encourage inclusiveness among students.

Some people remember their childhood as being carefree and fun. Others may have memories of sitting alone at recess, nervously hoping to be included by their classmates.

For kids who are new to a school and surrounded by tight-knit groups, making friends can be especially difficult. Many schools are making efforts to encourage inclusiveness among these students, by selecting and placing appropriate furniture in the areas the children gather and socialize.

All it took was a "buddy bench" to help Rachel Stewart's son make friends fast at his new school. In Huffington Post's "How a Buddy Bench Actually Helps Kids Make Friends," Rachel shares a story about how the buddy bench helped her son Owen make friends quickly at his new school in Aurora, Ontario.

Owen had a difficult time connecting with classmates each time he and his family moved and would often spend recess alone, according to Rachel. When they settled in Aurora, however, all Owen had to do was sit on what students called the "buddy bench" to be included in activities.

At Rick Hansen Public School, the purpose of the buddy bench is simple. If a student is feeling lonely and wants to be asked to play, he or she goes to the buddy bench to sit down. Other kids at the school, who might not have been aware their classmate was feeling left out, can then make an effort to include that student.

Seeing how much the buddy bench helped her son, Rachel is now bringing this concept to more schools by raising awareness and connecting with local organizations. Anova believes choosing the right furniture can help make connections, not just in schools - but at parks, plazas, courtyards, shopping centers, and corporate campuses.

Whether you are a school administrator or landscape architect, consider how the right benches can make a difference in your public space.

Browse our Victory Collection for customized steel benches with a 20-year limited structural warranty and 7-year finish warranty.

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