Alumni joined with members of the student group Enactus to install two Buddy Benches at Girls Inc. and the Clark Street Community School during the 2019 Working for Worcester citywide community service event.
Buddy Bench is a pro-inclusion initiative focused on early prevention instead of late intervention in regards to bullying and suicide. The Buddy Bench is a tool for youth to use to create an inclusive environment at their school and in their community. Enactus members bring the Buddy Bench program into elementary schools by giving an assembly lesson about scenarios in which the kids could use the bench, along with an actual installation of a customized buddy bench into their playground area.
The project was featured in a Worcester Telegram & Gazette story by Cyrus Moulton about the Working for Worcester event. An excerpt:
“. . .Lauren Banfield and Stephanie Correia of the Worcester State University Enactus club and project managers for the site, led a team that installed a ‘buddy bench’ at the playground, a special bench where a youngster can sit if they feel lonely and are looking for peers to play with. The Worcester State students will return to train the girls on how to use the bench. The club hopes to install similar buddy benches at 33 Worcester Public Schools and community sites throughout the city.
“‘We do it mainly just because we love helping the community and Worcester is really our home,” said Ms. Banfield, 20, originally from Warren. “Especially for the kids. A buddy bench is all about the kids.’”
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