Friendship Committee

Bench BuildersWith support from Mr. Hecocks and our new guidance counselor Camille Gonzales, the PTO has formed a Friendship Committee to support and explore friendship programs and culture at Central. Friendship programs are aimed at helping students foster friendships in school, and strengthening our culture of inclusion and kindness.

The group met over the summer to get the conversation started. Among the first topics of discussion is introducing “Buddy Benches” to the playground. Playtime can be particularly hard for some kids. Buddy Benches, which take many colorful and creative forms, reside on the school playground and serve as a welcoming spot for anyone feeling left out at recess. Classmates then recognize their peer is in need of a friend and can ask them to play. The Buddy Bench has been adopted by schools throughout the country, including some in our home district — Burlington Elementary, Longmont Estates Elementary, Flagstaff Academy and others.

The bench is engrained into the student culture over time, through reinforcement with classroom programs and other activities. The bench helps kids learn to be more cognizant of the emotions of others, and it teaches those who are struggling that it’s okay to ask for help sometimes. The committee is exploring fun and creative ways to reinforce the concepts of friendship and inclusion in the classroom.

If you’d like to be a part of the discussion, please contact kelly.davidson@centralpto.org. Our next meeting is Wednesday, September 6, at 6:30 p.m., in the Lucky’s Market Meeting Room.