There comes a time in every child’s life where he or she can feel a bit lonely, a time where he or she could use a friend, or even just someone to play with him or her.
And should this time arise at Parkview Heights Elementary School, there will be a place for these children to go.
Girl Scout Troop 45437 presented Parkview Heights with the sign for the Panther Pals Friendship Zone during a school assembly on March 17, giving the students a place to go and find a friend.
“We all believe everyone needs a friend,” Junior Scout Gabbie Bloomer said.
Gabbie, 10, is a fourth-grader at Parkview Heights and said she and her troop thought the friendship zone would be a great addition to the school.
“It’s for lonely kids who need help finding friends or finding someone to play with,” Gabbie said.
She said the sign presented will be placed on one of the park benches near the Parkview Heights playground.
When a student finds him- or herself lonely, he or she can sit on the bench, signaling to other students that he or she wants to play.
The bench also ties into a goal for the school itself, said Erica Smith, the leader of the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support team. Right now, the school has three objectives for its students: be safe, be respectful, and be responsible.
“Next year, we hope to add another one, and that is to be kind,” Smith said.
She said the Panther Pal Friendship Zone offers a great opportunity to put this objective into action, as students will be taught and encouraged to keep an eye out for their classmates who use the bench.
While the bench will be marked and open for use this year, Smith said next year the elementary school will place a focus on the zone as a part of this proposed new objective.