New Tech High School Students Making A ‘Titan Impact’ With Buddy Benches

SIOUX FALLS, SD-   Sometimes elementary school is tough and kids can be mean.  That’s why some students from New Tech High School are painting with a purpose, and are creating Buddy Benches for elementary school playgrounds.

“If someone is at the Buddy Bench, they may need someone to talk to or to be invited to their game,” says Niki Schillerstrom of Habit for Humanity.

As part of the “Titan Impact” program, all New Tech students are split into different groups, or “houses” as they call them, and they decide what their service project will be for the year.  These 45 students unanimously wanted to work with Habitat for Humanity to make 8 Buddy Benches for elementary schools across Sioux Falls.

“We researched different volunteer organizations that we could possibly help out with. As a house, we decided on Habitat because it was the one we felt most connected to,” says New Tech Senior Beimnet Zerefa.

So far, 6 of the Buddy Benches have been claimed and will go to schools like John F. Kennedy and Horace Mann.   These benches will create “safe zones” for students who are in need of a friend.

Schillerstrom explains “Whether it’s you want to make a new friend or a current friend isn’t treating you quite right and they might even know why, they might come over to you. It’s a place to go that you know is safe where other students identify that you might need some help.”

For Beimnet Zerefa, she believes this program is having a big impact on her school and helps fulfill needs in Sioux Falls.

“From what I’ve seen (so far), you (kind of) get in the spirit of it not just the volunteering but the idea of representing our school in a positive light,” says Zerefa.

The students raised money for the paint and lumber.  They’ll deliver the Buddy Benches to the elementary schools with Habitat for Humanity on April 18th.

Categories: Community, Local News, News