Last year, my loving husband Kevin Pitts passed away on a beautiful day in the mountains while vacationing with our family. He was a devoted husband, father, son, brother and friend. He was kind and thoughtful, and he had this way of always finding the good in people.
Kevin loved children, and he was an incredible father. A truly altruistic man, he was always willing to reach out and help someone in need. He spent years being actively involved in volunteer work and his community. As my husband and best friend, he supported me as I grew as a teacher and found my home at Central Elementary School.
Knowing how he put people at ease and valued friendship, I believe a Buddy Bench is a fitting tribute to Kevin. He was familiar with the Buddy Bench concept, and he valued the important role these benches play in building school community.
Some children have difficulty engaging in group play and expressing their feelings. They may have anxiety or other challenges, or they may be too shy. Whatever the reason, some children can’t find the words. Enter Kevin’s Buddy Bench. When a child sits on this special bench, they are showing their peers that they want to play. Classmates then recognize their peer is in need of a friend and ask them to play. It is magical to watch. It is a great way for children to connect and make friends. Making connections, helping people — that was Kevin’s way.
On the playground at Central, Kevin’s bench would serve a community of friends and colleagues that he respected, and the families and students he came to know and love through my stories. Most importantly, his generous spirit would provide comfort to generations of students, including his niece — a second grader at Central who misses her uncle dearly.
The Kevin Pitts Buddy Bench Initiative will promote an understanding of kindness and inclusion that students will carry with them through the years. I love the idea that Kevin’s spirit of friendship will live on through the students at Central.
Central Elementary School
Second Grade Teacher
Note: Donations made in Kevin’s name are tax deductible via the nonprofit Central PTO (Tax ID is #84-1334012). Donations will be used exclusively to support the Kevin Pitts Memorial Buddy Bench Fund and any related programs.