JMBHF School Gift Program
Buddy Benches & Kindness Libraries
In an effort to carry out the foundation's empowerment initiative to educate children on the power of kindness, JMBHF board members consulted various professionals who specialize in child development and researched many avenues. One idea that
was instantly brought to the table was the
A young man named Christian, a student at the Roundtown School in York, Pennsylvania, first conceived this simple, yet brilliant, concept. Christian's goal was to create a spot to
eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. In an attempt to send a message of inclusion and kindness he petitioned his principal to allocate a special bench as a meeting spot for children in need of a "buddy" or playmate.
Administrators in Christian's school embraced his idea and the first bench of its kind was erected at his school. Similar "Buddy Benches" now grace playgrounds across the country. It is our foundation's desire to bring one such bench to as many schools as possible throughout the country and world!
If you have any trouble completing the online "School Gift Program" Nomination Form, please email Scott Middlemiss .
As a result of the prevalence of schools that already have built or installed a Buddy Bench on their playgrounds, the foundation felt it was important and necessary to offer an alternative "kindness gift" to schools that already have a bench at their school. So, the second option for a gift for a nominated school is a "Kindness Library," a mobile bookcase filled with books that teach and highlight lessons in kindness. In essence, we add a "kindness section" to the school library! This mobile bookshelf is filled with quality mentor texts that will help foster and support beautiful friendships and kindness initiatives at the school. Some schools may choose to use the bookcase to create special "kindness corners" in their libraries, while others may opt to move the bookcase to different locations around the school building.
Not only does a gift of a "Buddy Bench" or a "Kindness Library" represent our foundation's goals, but it also aligns perfectly with the principles and core values sought in most every elementary school's social emotional curriculum. These gifts represent and touch upon many values that we hope to instill in our youth, our future, such as respect, kindness, empathy, and inclusion. The "Buddy Bench" or the "Kindness Library" will provide a concrete place for students to initiate inclusive behaviors while fostering friendships and reinforcing kindness.
The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation is excited to provide a gift of one "Buddy Bench"
and two "Kindness Libraries" each month to schools that believe in these types of tools to support inclusive behavior on the school's play-ground, inside the school building and to supplement the school's social emotional curriculum. The hope is that this gift will help
to reinforce the school's culture of kindness