When is a bench so much more than a bench? When does a bench have the power to connect people of all ages and experiences and create a community of upstanders? When it is a Buddy Bench built by at-risk youth from Rushford Academy in Durham. Thanks to 34 individual donors and the countless contributors to two Funds at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, the residential teen students are learning positive life skills and giving back to their community. The students at Rushford Academy are building wooden benches for local schools to use as a social inclusion tool. The benches are clearly labeled “Buddy Bench” and strategies for use are provided to school staff and students with each installation.
The initial idea for the bench building project came from a Rushford Academy resident supervisor’s desire to engage the young men recovering from substance abuse. He was looking for an interactive activity that would foster teamwork, commitment, and useable skills. The “Buddy Bench” project was the perfect opportunity – Continue Reading »