Golden Mustang Award, an anti-bullying/character building program in the Heber~Overgaard schools for 12 years, would like to be in a position to purchase Friendship Benches to place on the playgrounds of Capps Middle School and Mt. Meadows Primary. Instead of talking about what not to do, Golden Mustang stresses kindness based on the Golden Rule. Students are responsible for supporting the program by writing recommendations telling of the positive choices made by their classmates. We are a volunteer organization with a 501(c)3 that is funded exclusively by donations from individuals, churches, civic groups and businesses in our community and beyond. The preferable bench comes at a cost of $1000 each which includes shipping. Before you turn the page with disbelief let me explain the purpose and then the quality of the bench.
This colorful bench, filled with words of kindness supplied by children, is called the “Friendship Bench”. The bench is situated in open and well-travelled areas of the playground so that any child using the bench will be observed quickly. Students would sit there during playground time when they’re feeling lonely, in need of a friend, not being included, etc. Other children and staff will recognize this as a sign that some help, support or comfort is needed and will come to talk with the child. Students would ‘rescue’ them from the bench and ask them to join in. It also encourages children to ask for help when they are troubled. The Friendship Bench idea is perfect for what we’re trying to do and I can see it as a very successful tool to create an even more positive atmosphere on both campuses.
This friendship kit includes a multi-colored double Adirondack bench made of 100% recycled plastic, providing worry-free, low maintenance ownership to the school. The bench is weatherproof, durable and easily cleaned with just mild soap and water. It is custom engraved with a quote, company logo or dedication. Included is a set of oil-based paint markers and instructions for writing words of character and kindness on the bench. Please know there are other sturdy options, less costly, but that aren’t as appealing to the eye in the fun, bright colors for a children’s playground.
You can contact me, Kathy Vosburgh, at (928) 814-9826 or speak to Superintendent Ron Tenney at the district office with any questions. Otherwise, if you’d like to donate, you can send your tax deductible check payable to Golden Mustang Award with a memo Re: Friendship Bench to:
Golden Mustang Award
PO Box 2604
Overgaard, AZ 85933