Former Sullivans’ student donates Buddy Bench to school

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By Bea Magana

Sullivans Elementary School Public Affairs.

(YOKOSUKA, Japan) – Students at Sullivans Elementary School on board Fleet Activities Yokosuka (FLEACT) now have another way of seeking help when they are feeling blue or when they want to make a new friend, and they can rest while doing it.

It’s called the Buddy Bench and it was unveiled on October 6th, over the school’s closed circuit television channel during the elementary school’s morning broadcast.

The bench was donated by Isabella Quinones.  Isabella is a graduate of Sullivans and now a sixth grader at Yokosuka Middle School. She said she made the bench as a project for Girl Scouts.

Sullivans Assistant Principal Angelia Hadley explained how the Buddy Bench works: students who would like to make a new friend, or who might feel in need of the friendship and support of a buddy can sit at the bench during recess.

All students are encouraged to keep an eye on the bench for students sitting there who might need a buddy that day.

“We are so excited about our Buddy Bench that Isabella has designed and presented to us!  The students love the bench and have already been using it.  It is heartwarming to see a young lady such as Isabella reach out and provide a caring and positive way to reach students, who are in need of a friend. Additionally, it is wonderful to see the students who use the bench or watch for friends sitting on the bench,” said Hadley.

Ms. Karla Posthumus, a first grade teacher at Sullivans, appreciates how the Buddy Bench has provided students with an opportunity to practice reaching out to others who are looking for friends to play with.  “I’ve seen students in my class run up and ask their own classmates who are sitting on the Buddy Bench if they’d like to play.  The smiles on their faces are priceless!”

Isabella’s generous gift helps students at The Sullivans School support one another, which is especially meaningful in Sullivans highly mobile military community.

FLEACT Yokosuka is home to Kinnick High School, Yokosuka Middle School, Ikego Elementary School and The Sullivans Elementary School. FLEACT Yokosuka provides, maintains, and operates base facilities and services in support of 7th Fleet’s forward-deployed naval forces, 83 tenant commands, and 24,000 military and civilian personnel. The Sullivans School is the largest school in DoDEA with a student body of approximately 1,200 in grades K-5. DoDEA Pacific’s schools serve nearly 23,000 military-connected children of U.S. Service members and civilian support personnel stationed throughout the Pacific Theater.

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