Binghamton Central School District bringing children together th - Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Binghamton Central School District bringing children together through Bench Buddy

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) --  A national movement known as Bench Buddy aiming to bring children together on the playground, is coming to the Binghamton Central School District.

The concept of the bench is to bring safe spaces to children who might feel lonely or are looking for a friend during lunch and recess at school.

Local mom Kate McKan said she came across the idea on Facebook more than a year ago and was inspired to bring it into the community.

"[The bench] is a bully free, a safe zone a place again where kids can go and sit. It's is a big huge sign that says please come talk to me, I would like to make friends with you, I just don't know how to do it on my own," said McKan.
McKan said she's searching for ways to better the community in honor of her son Mason who she lost six years ago.
She explained when Mason was six months and 13 days old, he suddenly passed away when he didn't wake up from his nap due to sudden infant death syndrome.

"It's good to know that my little boy who can't be at this school playing on the playground, is bringing people together on that playground," she said.  

The Benjamin Franklin Elementary school is getting one bench. Principal Suzanne Thomas said the school jumped at the opportunity to get involved. She said the school emphasizes ways to teach children lessons in compassion.

"The idea that anyone, at any time, can feel alone and being strong enough to reach out to someone who is by themselves is an extraordinary act of kindness and consideration, and that's what we want to raise, kind and considerate children," said Thomas.

Thomas said the school is expecting to have the benches in place at the end of September. The MacArthur Elementary School said it will also be placing their three benches onto its playgrounds by the end of September.

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