GUELPH, Ontario – It’s a seemingly simple piece of furniture, but it has the power to inspire empathy and inclusion – and perhaps even spark a new friendship.
On March 23, Aberfoyle Public School will be presented with a Buddy Bench, a designated seat in the school where students can sit if they’re looking for a friend to play or talk with.
Representatives from the Get In Touch For Hutch campaign will be there, to talk to students and present the bench to the school.
This month at Aberfoyle, students are learning about being inclusive. School staff hope that the bench will encourage students to be more inclusive in an independent way, rather than inclusion being initiated by a teacher. They also hope the bench will also inspire empathy and remind children to be kind to each other, and that eventually no child we have to walk or play by themselves, unless it is by choice.
Get In Touch For Hutch is an organization that works to break down the walls of stigma around mental health and illness. The group raises money through education and awareness events. Funds support various youth mental health organizations, which work to build the skills and abilities of youth to improve and support their mental health and well-being.