Friendship Bench At East Hills


Friendship_062714AAll of East Hills School gathered in the gymnasium recently for the unveiling of the school’s new Friendship Bench.

Special Education Teacher Victoria Schnittger, who is retiring at the end of the school year and wanted to leave something special to the school that has been her home in Roslyn for more than 30 years, presented the bench.

After meeting weekly with her fourth grade Friendship Club children, they decided to create a bench that would be a “Safe Zone” for all children at recess. It was designed in Roslyn blue to make it inviting and noticeable from anywhere on the playground.

Friendship Club was specifically designed to teach children social rules, ways to modify their emotional reactions, and to help students plan social behaviors including communication and play. There is a friendship club in each grade led by different staff members. Peer mentors and other members of the Friendship Club gave a presentation for the whole school on Friday that included role modeling and songs to dedicate the new bench. The bench was dedicated with the following saying:

A Friendship Bench …
• It’s a place where anyone is welcome
• It’s a safe place to rest
• It’s a place to share a laugh on a tough day
• It’s a place for high-fives to celebrate a success
• It’s a place for high-fives when you’re feeling down
• It’s a bully-free zone, a place to stand tall
• It’s a place to share a kindness
• It’s a place for compassion, where you can be a ‘bucket filler’
• It’s a place to find a new friend
• It’s a place to meet an old friend
• It’s a place to talk to someone, about anything
• It’s a place to listen
• It’s a place to feel included

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