Sixth graders recognized a need to promote kindness so they decided to raise funds and place a Buddy Bench in the school playground.

Sixth graders at Sleepy Eye Elementary School recognized a need to promote kindness so they decided to raise funds and place a Buddy Bench in the school playground. A Buddy Bench is a place where a student who has no one to play with can sit. Other students will come to the bench and ask that student to play with them. Early in their project Monsanto offered to donate the bench (at left in photo) and the students chose the quote “One kind word can change someone’s entire day” to be inscribed on the bench. On Wednesday, May 16, many other elementary classes gathered on the playground as the sixth grade students dedicated the Buddy Bench. The bench on the right is a Friendship Bench donated by John Ladd’s family—it will be dedicated at a later date. The area around the bench is landscaped with decorative trees and stepping stones with kind words on them and the colorful kindness rocks that are painted and decorated with uplifting, kind messages. Students were encouraged to spread kindness and build compassion by taking a rock when they need one or sharing one with someone else. The sixth grade students capped the special day with a graduation ceremony as they prepare to enter seventh grade in the high school next fall.