June’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Jenny Guth, to support a “buddy bench” for Stittsville Public School.
“For many students,” explains Jenny, “recess is often the best part of the school day. But for others, it can be a very lonely time. The buddy bench is an ordinary bench placed in the schoolyard. Children who are sad or looking for playmates can sit on the bench to signal they would like someone to come talk to them or ask them to play.”
Buddy benches originated in Germany, and have been implemented in schools around the world. They are meant to be symbols of inclusion and kindness in the schoolyard, and are used to teach students about empathy and friendship for all.
Jenny is the mother of a junior kindergarten student at Stittsville Public School. “When I was a little girl,” she says, “I was excluded at school — a lot. I eventually learned to stand up for myself and others,” says Jenny, “and am now a lawyer.”
Funded by Ottawa, ON (June 2015)