Photo by Thomas Leffler

The Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica continued its gift-giving mission at Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) campuses Monday, dedicating three “Buddy Benches” on the campus of Roosevelt Elementary School. The benches have been installed at numerous SMMUSD schools since 2019, including at Franklin Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Muir Elementary at SMASH, Grant Elementary, Edison Learning Academy, John Adams Middle School and Lincoln Middle School.

The concept of the “Buddy Bench” was popularized in 2013 to help promote friendship and inclusion, as the benches are put at schools and playgrounds where kids feeling lonely or left out can signal that they need a friend.

“Thank you to the administration of Roosevelt for their tireless work on behalf of the students … we are grateful to [Roosevelt] for bringing the student’s request for more Buddy Benches to our attention, so that the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica could help make a difference for these children,” Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica President Eula Fritz said.

Thomas Leffler has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from Penn State University and has been in the industry since 2015. Prior to working at SMDP, he was a writer for AccuWeather and managed...