The Kindness Club sold bracelets and hosted a Penny War fundraiser to raise enough funds to construct two “Buddy Benches.”
Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker recently joined Mount Sinai School District Superintendent Gordan Brosdal, Mount Sinai Elementary School Principle Rob Catlin, Teacher’s Assistant Robin Merlo, members of the Mount Sinai SEPTO (Special Education Parent Teacher Organization) and the Mount Sinai Elementary Kindness Club Ambassadors at the unveiling of the Kindness Club’s “Buddy Benches” at Mount Sinai Elementary School. Throughout last year, the Kindness Club sold bracelets and hosted a Penny War fundraiser to raise enough funds to construct two “Buddy Benches.” Kindness Ambassadors from the club gathered together to paint the benches yellow and adorned them with their hand prints.
“The kids at Mount Sinai Elementary School have so much kindness in their hearts,” said Legislator Anker. “It is beautiful to see the support they have for each other and their commitment to making sure no one feels alone on the playground. Thank you to everyone at Mount Sinai Elementary School who worked together to make these benches possible.”
“In the Fall of 2019, myself and Melissa Rooney were talking about how we could unite the kids at recess and make sure everyone had someone to play with,” said Robin Merlo, a Teacher’s Assistant at Mount Sinai Elementary School. “We had seen other schools using “Buddy Benches” and thought it would be a good asset to our playgrounds. It has definitely been a positive influence in our elementary school after a challenging year.”
The Kindness Club was established by Robin Merlo and Special Education Teacher Melissa Rooney in 2019. To join the club, students were asked to write a short essay answering the question, “What does kindness mean to you?” Seventy-five students submitted an essay and two student essays were selected from each grade. These selected students became the Kindness Ambassadors for the club. Through the “Buddy Benches,” kids are encouraged to sit on the bench if they feel lonely or have no one to play with at recess. The designated Kindness Ambassadors will play or talk with any student that sits on the bench to let them know they are not alone.
For more information, please call Legislator Anker’s office at (631) 854-1600. Visit www.suffolkstopbullying.org
for anti-bullying resources for students, parents and schools.