Part of operating a successful school is fostering a sense of community, safety, and companionship in the student body. While you can’t expect every child to get along perfectly with all of their classmates, you can nonetheless work toward a peaceful, encouraging school environment. This has been shown to improve student behavior and even academic performance.
If you want to encourage a friendly and welcoming school environment, try investing in a buddy bench for schools like yours. There are many buddy bench designs to consider, including simple and classic designs for more mature students and playful and colorful benches for elementary or kindergarten-age kids. But in reality, the best buddy bench is one placed in a perfect spot on school grounds for socializing and meeting new friends.
If you think that a bench is just a decorative feature, you may be surprised to learn that research backs the importance of buddy benches in schools. Here are some of the most impactful ways that buddy benches can actually have positive effects on your students.
About Buddy Benches
Buddy benches are large benches designed to host open, honest, and cheerful interaction. When someone sits on this type of bench, the understanding is that someone will join a lonely child for conversation or company—assuming the buddy bench is described as such to the student body. Similarly, a student can sit on the bench and communicate that they’d like someone to come join them. A buddy bench plaque can help students understand the “rules” of using the buddy bench.
Decreasing Social Isolation
Children with emotional or behavior disorders often act one of two ways: internalizing or externalizing behavior. Children who do the former tend to isolate themselves socially, withdrawing from attention and avoiding interactions with their classmates. This can even lead to a sense with withdrawal from important school activities. Children who externalize their emotional or behavioral issues, meanwhile, act aggressive or even display openly antisocial behavior. Not only do these behaviors affect the student, but also their peers. Bullying and isolating other students can affect the personalities of the entire student body.
Studies have shown that the presence of buddy benches can counteract antisocial behaviors and a sense of social isolation. The benches encourage people to meet new friends, have sympathy for those who are lonely, and get to know people who are experiencing emotional and behavioral issues in a new light.
The results of some groundbreaking studies have shown that when buddy benches are present in playground areas or other areas where students can move about and socialize and play freely, buddy benches helped to counteract social isolation. This was shown to help students with emotional or behavioral disorders feel a sense of community, belonging, and understanding. Students were far less solitary, quoted as being more understanding of their fellow students, and actually enjoyed using the buddy bench.
One of the most effective ways that buddy benches helped the student body was by inviting students to sit there on their own accord. Rather than being forced to socialize, an act that can repel antisocial students, students actually took initiative to meet new children and made new friends.
If you want to learn more about how school furniture like a buddy bench can help your student body, please visit Outdoor School Furniture’s convenient and detailed online store today.