Brooks Elementary School has been gifted with a Buddy Bench by the American Legion Auxiliary Children and Youth Program.
Becky Hoskins, Department of KY Chairperson of the American Legion Auxiliary Children and Youth program, was joined by several American Legion members and Brooks Principal Kevin Fugate for the bench presentation during the school’s morning meeting.
“We are so excited to be here,” Hoskins informed students and staff before asking a very serious question.
“How many of you have been bullied? How many of you have ever wanted to talk to someone but were afraid or didn’t know who to reach out to?” she inquired.
The purpose of the Buddy Bench is for students to reach out by sitting down. The bench is located on a sidewalk next to the school playground and a plaque will be displayed on it.
Hoskins encouraged others to take action when they see a student occupying the bench.
“If you see someone sitting on this special bench, you know they need help,” she said.
“We hope no one will need it, but if they do, it will be there.”
Hoskins said the Buddy Benches are for elementary schools because this is one of the first places where kids experience bullying.
“The mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to serve veterans, their families and their communities,” Hoskins noted. “Everyone in this room is part of the community.”
Fugate applauded the American Legion Auxiliary for their thoughtfulness. “One of the primary goals in schools is making sure all kids feel safe,” he said. “This bench will have real meaning for students. They can go and have a seat without having to speak their issue to others. We will approach them and ask if they want to talk.”
Each bench is manufactured by Green Tree Plastics, LLC, of Evansville, IN, by recycling caps from water and soda bottles along with snap-on lids from butter tubs, small twist-on caps from milk jugs and medicine bottles, large twist-on caps from detergent bottles, spout tops and flip tops.
Also present at the bench donation were past Department Commander Mike Schutz, Auxiliary Child Welfare Chairperson Dee Schutz, Auxiliary Member at Unit 229 Sharon Locke, Auxiliary Member at Unit 76 Sue Abshire, Sons of the American Legion Member Post 229 Kenny Hoskins, American Legion Post 113 Member Mike Kabel and Auxiliary President Jerilynn Kabel who did most of the speaking for Hoskins.
Hoskins reported benches are being made for Trunnell Elementary and Camp Taylor Schools.
For more details on how your school can get involved, contact Hoskins at (502) 303- 7982 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.