According to an estimate by the U.S. Department of Justice, every seven minutes a child is bullied in the United States. Buddy Benches promote inclusion by giving kids a safe space that helps eliminate loneliness and foster friendships. At the Boys & Girls Club in south Santa Fe, when our kids go outside to play each day, they are screaming and balls are flying. Sometimes, if you look around the playground, you might find that some kids aren't joining in on the fun.
A Buddy Bench can provide a welcoming place to sit if you are new to the Club, if you want to make new friends, if your friends aren't at the Club that day, or if you want to play something different than what your friends are playing.
At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Fe/Del Norte, we provide a safe place for kids to be during out-of-school time. The Club where we are proposing to place the Buddy Benches is in a neighborhood where we are the only after school and summer program available to kids ages 5-18. Currently, 56% of children in Santa Fe reside in this area where there is limited outdoor recreation space and age-appropriate programming.
Physical fitness is an important component of our programming. Our goal is for all of young members to participate with an 80% improvement rate of their knowledge of healthy habits, increase the number of hours played outside in a safe environment with other children of all ethnicities, colors, and creeds in order to enhance their ability to interact positively with others and engage in positive relationships.
Funded by Santa Fe, NM (December 2015)