Friendship Benches

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Friendship Benches

The giant friendship bench at Marshall.

The giant friendship bench at Marshall.

The giant friendship bench at Marshall.

The giant friendship bench at Marshall.

Sarah Quan, Staff Editor

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During the first semester of the school year of 2017-2018 Marshall’s north quad gained one really big friendship bench (which is the size of half of a classroom) and two normal sized friendship benches. Ever since they’ve been installed at school students have been hogging up that special space.

For those of you who don’t know, these friendship benches were originally founded by a little girl named Acacia Woodley. According to an article by her mother, she came up with the idea that she could help others, even the meanest of bullies, by installing friendship benches at schools to symbolize positivity.

“She came to me and asked if we could put a friendship bench into her school so that kids who were having a rough day, or needed someone to talk to could go and find that friend. We put the bench in her school but not before she decided that one bench wasn’t enough. She wanted a bench in every school across the United States, and she was going to do whatever it took to make it happen. That was a little over a year ago now. Her organization is called Tiny Girl, Big Dream, Inc. and she is working hard to make her dream a reality.”

From the looks of it, most friendship benches have the same rainbow color scheme and the ordinary-sized ones can seat up to two people at a time. They are made of recycled milk bottles, are weatherproof, and can be cleaned up with some simple soap and water.

The benches tend to be one part of a bigger friendship kit. This kit will typically include a “multi-colored double Adirondack bench”, “I Am Amazing Bracelets” for every student, oil-based paint markers for writing on the seats, and custom engraving on the bottom right panel of the bench.

However, it is currently unknown how effective these benches are at making Marshall students more optimistic. At the very least, students have more places to sit now, which is always nice.

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