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BAY VILLAGE, OH – Thanks to some caring second graders at Normandy Elementary School in Bay Village, other children who may be having a hard time at recess now have a special place to go to reach out for help.

Today, the school dedicated two “Buddy Benches”, that are available on the playground for any student who feels as if he or she doesn’t have a friend to play with, or may simply be feeling a bit lonely. If the student sits on a Buddy Bench, that tells others how he or she is feeling and lets them know that they should reach out and include that student in their recess games.

“Buddy Benches will help children who need more strategies for making friends and initiating play,” said Megan Basal, school counselor and advisor to the club. “It will also help students who already have these skills practice showing empathy for others.”

Members of the school’s Students of Character Club (SOCC) demonstrated how to use the benches at a school assembly today. They will also be part of a “buddy patrol” to promote its use.