F.D. donates Buddy Benches

All of the elementary schools in El Dorado have their own "Buddy Benches" thanks to a donation by the El Dorado Fire Department.
"We're pretty excited," said Troy Jellison, fire department captain.
He said the Buddy Benches were something his wife had found out about on the Internet and she wanted to find sponsors to provide them to the local schools.
Jellison liked the idea too and presented it to the fire department.
"The group as a whole really believes investing in the children of El Dorado is one of the most positive ways we can impact our community," he said.
The idea for the benches was started by a student named Christian at Roundtown Elementary. He had thought his family was going to be moving to Germany and his family was looking at a Web site for schools overseas, when Christian saw a picture of a special bench on a playground. He thought it would be great to have at his school because he knew there were kids who felt lonely at recess and he thought this would put an end to that.
Jellison explained the idea is to help prevent bullying and help kids improve their social skills and meet new friends.
He also pointed out the benches were funded by the fire fighters and did not come from tax payer dollars.
The benches are different colors. Three went to Skelly Elementary where two smaller ones were placed on the kindergarten and pre-K enclosed playgrounds, with a larger one on the main playground. Then two went to Jefferson and Lincoln and one went to Grandview and Oil Hill for their playgrounds.
"The men of the El Dorado Fire Department took on this challenge and exceeded the original request of one bench per grade school and raised enough money to provide a bench for each playground at school," Jellison said.
This is just another way the fire department is involved with the schools, they also have served as mentors in the Adopt-a-Class program for the last seven years.

Julie Clements can be reached at jclements@butlercountytimesgazette.com.