Eleven-year-old Ellie Fenderson of Lincoln Elementary School in Prescott, Arizona inspired students with a play she wrote. Ellie and her fellow fifth grade classmates were given the assignment to go home and write a play. When Ellie received the assignment to write a play themed on “character counts”, she knew that she wanted to write her play about bullying. The eleven-year-old recalled a story her grandmother told her about a German boy who created a buddy bench. Ellie’s story is about a girl who is a victim of bullying. The girl goes to sit on the “buddy bench,” and children she has never met confront her to see if she is alright. The children then ask the girl to play.
“Buddy Bench” is a designated area for students to sit on if they are feeling lonely, needing someone to talk to, or getting bullied. Ellie’s teacher, Sandy Lutz, took this play to the elementary’s principal and student council. Funds were raised to buy a real life “Buddy Bench.”
Students took the “Buddy Bench Oath” to promise not to be a bully and then put their fingerprint on the bench. The fingerprints are representation that the oath will leave an imprint with them forever. The Buddy Bench is already in use at Lincoln Elementary school, and it shows to be a success.
“I promise to be a better person and not bully other people. By putting my thumb on this bench, I will promise to keep this oath through all my years at school and through all the days of my life.”
-Buddy Bench Oath