Capping off an exciting new way to give back to the local community, students and staff from Ross Medical Education Center in Port Huron, Michigan gathered numerous bottle caps to be used for the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency Buddy Bench Program. Introduced to America in 2013 by an elementary school student, buddy benches are a way to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) has been collecting clean plastic bottle caps and lids over the past year. These will be used to create Buddy Benches that will be distributed throughout St. Clair County.
The Buddy Bench is a simple idea to foster unity and combat loneliness. It is a bench that someone can sit on if they would like to meet a new friend or if they are feeling left out. If someone sees them sitting on the bench, they will know to approach them so they can sit together and talk or to ask them to play. The benches are made from recycled bottles and lids making this not only a great way to become friends, but a fantastic way to turn trash into treasure! It is truly an exciting recycling opportunity as it takes about 400 pounds of bottle caps and lids to make one six foot bench.
The first bench under the RESA Buddy Bench Initiative has been gifted to Woodland Developmental Center, where life skills are taught to students with special needs in a protective and nurturing environment. In order to create additional benches, the collecting continues. The collection that RESA began in the fall of 2017 is now nearing the 100 pound mark. Partnering with RESA for the Buddy Bench Initiative was a fun way to promote sustainability and make a positive impact on the environment.
If you would like to learn more about the resources that St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) provides please check out their website at sccresa.org. Also, if you would like to start your own Buddy Bench program, there are many helpful resources online such as buddybench.org.