Whittier elementary school
Friday, January 26, 2018…
was a very special day for the students at Whittier Elementary School in Boulder, Colorado. It was on this day that they received their very own, one-of-a-kind Buddy Bench! The concept behind a “Buddy Bench” is to encourage kindness and inclusiveness. When a student feels lonely or wants someone to talk to or play with, they sit on the bench and other students and staff members recognize their need and reach out to provide support, comfort and friendship.
On donation day, as the children entered their gymnasium for a school assembly, they were greeted by two bouquets of blue and white balloons and a surprise waiting under a light blue sheet. It was then that Whittier’s art teacher, Jennifer Shepherd, introduced R2K Founder, Elva Pellouchoud, and her sweet mama, Barbara Pellouchoud (the inspiration behind R2K), who then announced to the students that a very special gift was about to be given to them and their school! The children waited anxiously with their eyes wide open and the biggest smiles from ear to ear filled the room. Before they knew it, the cover was off and a beautiful handmade wooden bench with two character illustrations sitting side-by-side was revealed. The two characters featured a Silver Fox, representing Patrick Pellouchoud, Elva’s late father and Resort 2 Kindness’ inspiration for the Buddy Bench series, and the Whittier Wildcat.
Laughter, screams of joy, and overwhelming enthusiasm echoed through the gym. The kids were ecstatic and could not believe their incredible surprise! They were taught what the Buddy Bench represents and some of the students even put together a presentation for how the bench would fit into the school’s new Universal Playground being built in 2018. They all celebrated by taking turns having their picture taken with the bench and with each other. It was truly a magical moment for the students at Whittier Elementary School, for Mama Pellouchoud and for Resort 2 Kindness.
A special THANK YOU to Jennifer Shepherd and the staff and students of Whittier Elementary School! Also, we are so grateful to Sam Mobley, Andy Linke and Mark Zwingelberg, the creative masterminds behind the Buddy Bench design and to Darcy Kiefel and her beautiful photography skills, capturing this momentous occasion flawlessly!