Need a friend? Have a seat

Posted on September 12th, 2017 by Sara

By reporter Steven Smalley

Friends are a blessing, although occasionally tough to find, especially if you’re a kid. At Magnolia’s Catharine Blaine K-8 School making new friends just got a little easier with their new Friendship Bench.

With the help from the good people at Magnolia Ace Hardware and school volunteers, the Friendship Bench was built right in the center of the playground for all to enjoy. Not just a place to sit, but a place for kids who need a friend to get one.

Blaine students Connor, and his sister Caitlin, saw a documentary about three boys who had a buddy bench donated to their school playground; which gave them the idea to add a similar bench to Catharine Blaine.

“If you don’t have a friend, or you need a friend to play with you sit on the bench. Then, if you see someone sitting there, you ask them if they want to play,” Connor explains. “[If] I might feel a little sad and lonely, sitting on the bench helps you find a friend.”

There is no stigma attached, says principal Ryan LaDage, “We’ve built it up to be a helpful place. It’s not anything kids should be ashamed of, even from our youngest students to our middle-schoolers. It’s positive from 5-year-olds to 14-year-olds. It is a way for other people to see who is looking to play. So they see somebody on the bench, they can come over, and invite them to play, or sit and talk.”

Good to know you’ve got a friend at Catharine Blaine.

Connor and his sister Caitlin sit on the Friendship Bench at Catharine Blaine

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