woodland unity day web

Decked out in bright orange clothing and amid boisterous cheers of school pride, students at Woodland Elementary recently took a pledge to be buddies instead of bullies – demonstrating one way they’re putting kindness first this year.

During a school-wide assembly to celebrate Unity Day on Oct. 19, Woodland students showed off their “thumbprint doves” – artistic representations of their pledge – and also witnessed the unveiling of the school’s new buddy bench. Found in the U.S. and around the world, buddy benches can help foster inclusivity on the playground and make school a more fun and welcoming place for students.

The buddy bench at Woodland Elementary honors the memory of Tim Gregor, an educational support professional who passed away last year. The bench was donated by the District 279 Foundation, the Whittemore family, and the Gregor family.

Woodland Elementary is the second school in Osseo Area Schools to receive a buddy bench. In August, Elm Creek Elementary received a donation of two buddy benches as part of the Lowe’s Heroes program.