Wooden Benches Promoting Inclusion and Friendship

The Friendship Bench Project in Mason and Oceana County

Yvonne Bess-Jones and Marie Fay are two best friends and together they founded the Friendship Bench Project. 16 wooden benches can be found around Mason and Oceana counties promoting inclusion and friendship. Yvonne says, “Everyone needs someone. In the world we live it is not easy to take on everyday challenges by yourself. You need someone to talk to and someone to sit there with you.”

Through a puppet show these two are demonstrating to preschoolers three simple concepts. Marie says, “We teach them you’re small but you’re very powerful. It doesn’t matter what you look like, it doesn’t matter your age. Kindness will always be appreciated so just give it.

For four-year-old Clara she took away something that will stick with her for years to come. “To be nice and be nice and be nice!”

These students in classrooms across the counties are learning the true value of unconditional support early on. A concept even adults need to be reminded of.

“Imagine if the community we will have if all of these children have the tools from preschool,” shares Yvonne.

If you ask Yvonne and Marie if the benches are working, they’ll tell you to look at the grass around them.

Click here for more information on the Friendship Bench Project.

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