The Eagle Scout project provides Mountain View school with “benches of friends”
GREAT FALLS – Students at Mountain View Elementary School in Great Falls have a new way to get help if they’re feeling lonely – four “friend benches” were dedicated to the school on Friday.
Great Falls High School junior Gabe Cunningham who attended Mountain View made them for his Eagle Scout project.
When the students sit on the benches, it means that the other students feel lonely and would like someone to talk or have fun with them.
After the benches were delivered, Cunningham helped cut the tape to officially put them into service.
“I felt really happy doing this,” Cunningham said. “I worked on the benches for, probably, about 138 hours with adults and other Boy Scouts in my troop.”
“I had a great experience for the seven years (K-6) and I never forgot the special teachers who made a difference in my life,” said Gabe.
Mountain View sixth student Kaitlynn Fulbright was happy to see the benches: “They’re really cool and making new friends would be great.
The wood for the benches was donated by Johnson Madison and the painting was donated by the Schulte family.
Friend benches are used in schoolyards and dining rooms around the world. “The school playground can be a lonely place for a child if he or she has no one to play with. But a special kind of bench helps students make friends and get people talking about bigger issues, ”said Jennifer, director of Mountain View. Martyn.
She continued, “The idea is simple: if a child is feeling lonely, he can go to the bench to indicate that he needs someone to play with. Another child will see them, talk to them and include them in their games. “
Gabe started his Eagle Scout project in January, logging 138 hours of work. Each bench has 17 pieces of wood and 80 screws. They are painted in red, white and blue to represent the colors of the school. He measured, cut, sanded, primed and painted each piece of wood to build the benches. He added, “I want to inspire a community of kindness because that’s what my teachers have shown me.”