A group of Girl Scouts in Moorestown knows that a little bit of kindness can create big waves of happiness. Earlier this year, the town’s mayor, Phil Garwood, issued an official proclamation declaring it a Year of Kindness in Moorestown. Members of Troop 21279 were inspired by this and set a goal to earn their Bronze Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve, by creating a Kindness Bench for their school’s playground.
A Kindness Bench is a place where children can sit when they want to have a friend or be a friend. It creates a welcoming environment for new students and promotes opportunities for children to interact with others who might be feeling lonely on the playground.
“If someone’s feeling lonely, they sit on the bench. Someone else can go sit with them and show them kindness and offer to play,” said Reagan Reiner.
When the word got out of the plan to build this bench, members of the community loved the idea so much that they stepped forward offering to donate more benches, so each of Moorestown’s public elementary schools could have one. The initial goal of building one bench snowballed to five benches.
The girls have worked diligently to sand, scrape, prime, paint and decorate the benches over the past several months. They will be presenting the completed benches to the principals of Baker, Roberts and South Valley elementary schools as well Moorestown’s Upper Elementary School. A fifth bench that was sanded and refinished by Alessia McCracken is planned to be donated to the New Albany Recreation Center, which has long been a location where Girl Scouts have met. She is excited that children who play on that playground will benefit from the bench she helped work on.
Halle Hudson chose to paint one bench in the traditional Moorestown colors of black and gold, recognizing that the UES students are sophisticated and will appreciate that color scheme. Katherine Braddock said she chose to design a rainbow on one of the benches for the lower elementary schools, because, “A rainbow represents the bonding of people together to make a better place, and the beauty and magic comes from the power of kindness.”
Ava Eaise worked on a bench that will go to Baker Elementary (her alma mater). “I like knowing that something I helped design will be at Baker, because it was such a special place in my life,” said Ava.
Members of the troop will display one of their Kindness Benches and promote usage of the benches at the Moorestown Day celebration on June 4. The troop would like to thank Barbara Berreski, Amy Walker and Nancy DiPasquale, Moorestown residents who donated benches to the project.
The girls will earn their Bronze Awards at the annual Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony on June 7.