Signal Hill Elementary students win buddy-bench approval 

Data and detective work prove the point

click to enlarge PHOTO BY LYNN MITGES - BUDDY BRIGADE Village of Pemberton Councillor Jennie Helmer is surrounded by Signal Hill Elementary students who appeared before council to ask for funding for buddy benches.
  • Photo by Lynn Mitges
  • BUDDY BRIGADE Village of Pemberton Councillor Jennie Helmer is surrounded by Signal Hill Elementary students who appeared before council to ask for funding for buddy benches.

Grade 1 and 2 students from Signal Hill Elementary school in Pemberton had an introduction to municipal government with their presentation to council Tuesday, May 16 to request funding for a couple of buddy benches for their school.

About 30 students packed the council room to present their data that tracked how they asked fellow students for input on whether the Buddy Benches would be needed.

Students were armed with a large piece of construction paper that charted their detective work, data and survey to illustrate the need for the benches.

A spokeschild told council that students went around in classrooms and asked students to raise their hands if they had had a friend "ditch" them, or related questions that would signal a need for a friend for a few moments or a chat, or just company.

In the students' application to council, they said the benches would be beneficial so "students will have a place to go to find a friend to play with or get help solving problems."

Students and teachers also pointed out that $600 had been tallied through fundraising by the Walt family and donated to the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) specifically for the purchase of buddy benches.

The cost for one bench is $503; the cost for two benches is $1,103 — plus the $600 already donated to the PAC.

As students arrived, council was informed that Squamish Lillooet Regional District Area C director Russell Mack had already agreed to match any funds that the VOP would contribute.

As the VOP approved the $1,103 funding for two benches, students cheered and politely called out "Thank you."

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