New Buddy Bench at Lido Supports Social Emotional Learning

As part of the Long Beach Public Schools’ emphasis on Social Emotional Learning, Lido Elementary School recently unveiled a Buddy Bench to promote kindness and help develop friendships. The bench, which stands in the outdoor playground area, was celebrated with a ribbon cutting as classes from each grade had the opportunity to learn about its purpose.

Students were informed that if they choose to sit on the bench they are expected to accept invitations to play, walk or talk. They were also encouraged to extend such invitations to peers seated on the bench. The intention is to make everyone feel like a part of the Lido family and enhance students’ awareness of how important it is to include others and offer companionship.
The introduction of the Buddy Bench, provided courtesy of an anonymous donor, was one component of a “Kindness Starts with Me” initiative at Lido that stressed the importance of positive behaviors and ways to prevent bullying. During the week of Oct. 17, various activities focused on the SEL competencies of self-awareness and social awareness through the sharing of reading materials and poems, creation of posters and performance of songs related to the theme.

Students from Pre-K through grade five explored emotions and how feelings and behaviors can affect others. The week culminated with a schoolwide march, though the content will be embedded into lessons and events moving forward as well.

All four elementary schools are teaching self-awareness, social awareness, relationship tools, responsible decision-making and self-management skills. These topics are spread out over the school year and applied to real-life circumstances so that they will stay with students well into the future.