William Floyd High School recently held a ceremonial unveiling of the district’s 10 new “Buddy Benches” at the WFHS Industry Advisory Board end-of-year meeting. Buddy Benches are special benches designed to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship, kindness and inclusion on the playground.
The project was a true school-community effort which was made possible thanks to the generosity of Empire National Bank in Shirley, which provided a grant to fund this project in its entirety. Also instrumental to the project’s success was Robert Gudger’s technology students, the William Floyd High School Business Honor Society, the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library and Riverhead Building Supply.
With assistance from the Community Library, students in each elementary school participated in a special vote to choose the design and color of each bench – resulting in the selection of five hawks and five turtles. Each of the district’s elementary schools – Moriches, Nathaniel Woodhull, Tangier Smith, John S. Hobart and William Floyd – will receive two new benches to add to their playgrounds.
The inscription on each bench states, “This is a special bench for sitting on if you are lonely and need a friend. If you see someone sitting here please go over and join them. You will be making a big difference in their life. We hope no one ever has to sit on it alone for long.”
The benches will be added to each playground in the near future.