Skip to main content

Valhalla's Buddy Bench

Feb 27, 2017 06:05PM, Published by Jennifer Neys, Categories: Education, Today


Students in Mrs. Heavyside’s 5th grade class display the buddy bench. Pictured are (LtoR): Sofia, Zachary, Isabele, Josalyn and Kaleo.



Buddy Bench Fosters Belonging on the Playground

By Jaki Jones

The buddy bench was inspired by an elementary school aged student in York, Pennsylvania, in 2013 to help eliminate students having to experience a lonely recess. Principal Marji Calbeck had wanted a buddy bench at Valhalla Elementary School, and when one was donated last November by her dentists, Christopher Petrush and Monica Elek, she asked her staff if anyone wished to take it on as a project to paint and promote its meaning of friendship and inclusion.

Dena Heavyside accepted the project, and for the next several months, she and her 5th grade class got involved with painting, decorating, and discussing how the bench would be introduced to the rest of the school. The class decided it would be best to paint the bench in the Valhalla spirit colors of blue and yellow, and each student in the class signed their name to the bench. Next, the 5th grade students went in teams of two into every classroom and spoke about the purpose of the bench. Kaleo said, “A really important part was explaining the rules for the bench and what it’s about and what you are supposed to do, because if you don’t explain the rules, it’s not going to last very long.” Josalyn further explained, “If you feel lonely at recess, then the buddy bench will help you. We explained that you don’t climb or stand or eat on it, and if someone is sitting there, you should pitch in.” 

The main idea is that if a student has no one to play with at recess, they can sit on the bench, signaling to others they are looking for a friend, someone to hang out with on the playground. “You can’t just sit there to hang out for no reason,” said Sophia, “but if you want more friends, then you can sit there and wait until someone comes over and make friends with them. 

“As 5th graders representing the buddy bench, we aren’t there just to look and wait for someone else to go over; we are going to go to the bench if we see someone there and set an example for younger kids,” added Kaleo. The bench was officially unveiled on the playground during Kindness Week, last January, and the students said the bench was used right away. “Some kids who may not have friends to play with will continue to walk on over, that’s what we hope,” said Zachary. The students also hope that next school year, Mrs. Calbeck can explain the rules and purpose of the bench to the kids, and that  the 5th grade teachers will encourage their students to continue to set the example and honor this legacy.



Valhalla's Buddy Bench Principal Marji Calbeck


  • The Valley Beer Tour

    08/20/2017
    11:30AM — 04:00PM

    Livermore has an abundance of wineries now being complemented by a growing craft beer scene. Wit...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/20/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE LOWELL TRIO

    08/20/2017
    04:00PM — 06:00PM

    "Classical" With members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra The Lowell Trio annual Summer...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/23/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/23/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • MONTHLY MOSTLY BLUEGRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

    08/23/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Hosted by the Armando's House Bluegrass Band Bruce Campbell - bass Rick Horlick - mandolin L...


  • FPHE Green Team meeting - new members wanted!

    08/24/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    We encourage and support all things Green in Pleasant Hill schools, including school gardens, sal...


  • QUINN DEVEAUX

    08/24/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Soul Blues” Joe Lewis - electric bass Quinn DeVeaux - guitar/vocals Andrew Maguire - Drums ...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    08/25/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music with KYLE JESTER No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • Walnut Creek Movies Under the Stars: Grease

    08/25/2017
    06:30PM — 10:00PM

    Bring your family and enjoy this FREE outdoor moving screening! Bring a picnic or enjoy dinner at...


  • THE MAD MAGGIES

    08/25/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Ska, Zydeco and Folk Rock" Maggie Martin - accordion/ vocals Johny Blood - tuba Ray Rernand...


  • The Valley Beer Tour

    08/20/2017
    11:30AM — 04:00PM

    Livermore has an abundance of wineries now being complemented by a growing craft beer scene. Wit...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/20/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE LOWELL TRIO

    08/20/2017
    04:00PM — 06:00PM

    "Classical" With members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra The Lowell Trio annual Summer...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/23/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/23/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • MONTHLY MOSTLY BLUEGRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

    08/23/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Hosted by the Armando's House Bluegrass Band Bruce Campbell - bass Rick Horlick - mandolin L...


  • FPHE Green Team meeting - new members wanted!

    08/24/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    We encourage and support all things Green in Pleasant Hill schools, including school gardens, sal...


  • QUINN DEVEAUX

    08/24/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Soul Blues” Joe Lewis - electric bass Quinn DeVeaux - guitar/vocals Andrew Maguire - Drums ...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    08/25/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music with KYLE JESTER No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • Walnut Creek Movies Under the Stars: Grease

    08/25/2017
    06:30PM — 10:00PM

    Bring your family and enjoy this FREE outdoor moving screening! Bring a picnic or enjoy dinner at...


  • THE MAD MAGGIES

    08/25/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Ska, Zydeco and Folk Rock" Maggie Martin - accordion/ vocals Johny Blood - tuba Ray Rernand...


  • Eat Stay Love Lafayette Food Tour

    08/26/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Green Hills. Great Schools. Good-tasting Eats. Our Eat – Stay – Love Lafayette food tour is a tw...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/26/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/26/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • PETER ANASTOS & ITER + GREEK JAZZ

    08/26/2017
    08:00PM — 10:30PM

    "Post Bop Original Jazz" Peter Anastos - trumpet Jodi Durst - bass Heikki Koskonen - piano ...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/26/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/27/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    08/27/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/30/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/30/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    08/30/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • Join us for an Event Marketing Workshop on how to manage events big and small. The event is happe...


  • THE RAY CHARLES PROJECT

    08/31/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Tony Lindsey - vocals Glenn Walters - vocals Chris Cain - guitar David K. Mathews - organ Dwa...


  • Walnut Creek Aquanuts Fall Swim Show

    08/31/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Enjoy an evening aquatic production without the long drive to the city! The Aquanuts present “Aqu...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    09/01/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music with SIN SILVER No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • LITTLE ROGER & THE GOOSEBUMPS

    09/01/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Pop Rock" Roger Clark - guitar/ vocals David Seabury - drums John Seabury - bass Donn Spin...


  • Walnut Creek Aquanuts Fall Swim Show

    09/01/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Enjoy an evening aquatic production without the long drive to the city! The Aquanuts present “Aqu...


  • The Valley Beer Tour

    09/02/2017
    11:30AM — 04:00PM

    Livermore has an abundance of wineries now being complemented by a growing craft beer scene. Wit...


  • "Anything Goes" art gallery opening

    09/02/2017
    02:00PM — 06:30PM

    Art show opening ‘Anything Goes’ at the Raquel Amaral Studio/Gallery on September 2nd, 2017 2...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    09/02/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • LAVAY SMITH & HER RED HOT SKILLIT LICKERS

    09/02/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Red, White & Blues: A Celebration Of America's Cities, States & Regions" Lavay Smith - vocal...


  • Walnut Creek Aquanuts Fall Swim Show

    09/02/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Enjoy an evening aquatic production without the long drive to the city! The Aquanuts present “Aqu...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    09/03/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • MICHELE'S SUNNY SUNDAY BIRTHDAY BASH

    09/03/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    Featuring…. Yours Truly Michele (Michele Kappel) "She’s a celebration. No matter your mood, yo...


  • Walnut Creek Aquanuts Fall Swim Show

    09/03/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Enjoy an evening aquatic production without the long drive to the city! The Aquanuts present “Aqu...


  • BLUES SHOWCASE

    09/04/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Al Smith Band Memphis Blues Project Harrison Flynn and Friends Barry Craig and Friends


  • Volunteer Gardening

    09/06/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • DREAM POSSE

    09/07/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Eclectic Country Rock” CD Release Party! Kiki Stack – vocals Katy Lawrence – vocals/ viol...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    09/08/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music with GARY KING, ZAC JOHNSON & FRIENDS No cover charge Beverage discount Doors ope...


  • GOLDEN STATE LONE STAR REVUE

    09/08/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Mark Hummel - harmonica/ vocals Anson Funderburgh - guitar Wes Starr - drums RW Grigbsy - bass...


  • Donate Life Run/Walk 5k/10k/Kids Dash

    09/09/2017
    07:30AM — 11:30AM

    Are you looking to be more active and involved in your community? Well look no further than the 7...


  • Family Art Day

    09/09/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    "Fall into Your Creative Self!" 

Join us to make a variety of wearable art, participate in pe...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    09/09/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE JOEL DORHAM LATIN JAZZ OCTET

    09/09/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Joel Dorham - timbales Jules Rowell - trombone Mike Rose - lead trumpet John Christensen - 2n...


  • Fight Cancer with your Fork

    09/10/2017
    01:30PM — 03:00PM

    Featuring Susan Silberstein, PhD Founder/Director, Center for Advancement in Cancer Education...


  • Fight Cancer with your Fork

    09/10/2017
    01:30PM — 03:00PM

    Featuring Susan Silberstein, PhD • Founder/Director, Center for Advancement in Cancer Educati...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    09/10/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages - and...


  • RAY OBIEDO & FRIENDS

    09/10/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Funk & Latin" Ray Obiedo - guitar Melecio Magdaluyo - sax Marc VanWageningen-bass Colin Do...


 

 

 

July 2017

 

 

Oasis Veterinary Pet Adoption Connection

 

Loading Family Features Content Widget
Loading Family Features Article

 

Interested in advertising or becoming a community sponsor? Contact us at 925-335-6397 or email us at info@ourcommunityfocus.com