Rosa Parks Elementary fifth graders, Miriam Terdina and Ellie Hagen donated 20 hours to provide a buddy bench for students. Photo by Madison Miller/Staff Photo

Rosa Parks Elementary fifth graders, Miriam Terdina and Ellie Hagen donated 20 hours to provide a buddy bench for students. Photo by Madison Miller/Staff Photo

Girl Scouts plant Buddy Bench at Rosa Parks Elementary

The bench is designed to create opportunities for kids to make new friends.

Miriam Terdina and Ellie Hagen, fifth-graders at Rosa Parks Elementary School on Redmond Ridge are finishing their junior level as members of Girl Scout Troop 40382.

They noticed some kids were playing alone at recess and wanted a way for them to find friends to play with and have fun.

Terdina and Hagan introduced a Buddy Bench to their school, which allows kids to sit on it to let other kids know they want to play.

“If you see someone sitting on the bench, you can go over and play with them and be their friend,” Terdina said.

The girls volunteered 20 hours to the project and earned a bronze award — the highest award a junior Girl Scout can achieve. The process began last November.

“Our project had to be helpful and last permanently,” Terdina said.

Though the girls wanted to build the bench themselves, they had to choose from a list of benches approved by the Lake Washington School District to ensure safety.

After selecting the bench, it was up to Terdina and Hagen to raise the money to purchase it. The girls’ mothers posted about the need on Facebook and were surprised by the overwhelming support they received.

Terdina’s mother, Annamaria, said the original Facebook post didn’t ask for money specifically. The post only posed the question of what steps should be taken to raise the money needed to have the bench installed.

“It was amazing. All these parents thought this was such a great idea that they donated their own money to see it happen,” she said.

Through private and school donations, as well as help from the school’s vice principal, they were able to raise the funds needed to install the bench.

The bench was installed in late May but the official plaque to signify the buddy bench is still in the process.

Terdina and Hagen have informed other students about the Buddy Bench through morning announcements, but some students still don’t know what the bench is or how to use it.

They are planning on creating a video to be shown to the entire school at the beginning of next school year, which will explain the Buddy Bench’s purpose.

“We’ve decided that it’s not the official Buddy Bench until we have the plaque,” Hagen said.

Terdina and Hagen believe kids will really like the Buddy Bench. They have already seen a few kids use it to make new friends.

“I think people will really like the Buddy Bench. A lot of other schools have them and they work really well,” Terdina said.

More in Life

Redmond: Now and then

A look at Redmond back in the day.

Movies@Marymoor summer lineup announced

The series runs weekly from July 10 through Aug. 28.

Dying from an overdose; not just heroin that’s killing us

A monthly column about mindfulness and health.

Veg Fest comes to Redmond for the first time

Celebrating all vegetarians on June 22.

Healthy summer recipes — herbs, veggies and wild fish abound

A monthly health column from the Eastside.

Photo courtesy of the city of Redmond 
                                Siddhant Singh, 8, meets Mayor John Marchione to talk about his Beyblade tournament idea.
Eight-year-old’s letter to mayor brings Beyblades to Redmond

Thanks to Siddhant Singh’s letter, there will be a Beyblades free play at Derby Days.

The Love Box program provides foster families with community and holistic support so that they can continue to do the meaningful and important work of being foster parents. Photo courtesy of Seattle Angels
Seattle Angels aim for holistic support of Eastside foster families

The nonprofit offers wraparound support through its Love Box Program.

More than 400 people broke bread together in celebration of the Islamic month of Ramadan at the annual Interfaith Iftar hosted by the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) on May 15. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Redmond community breaks bread in celebration of lslamic month

More than 400 people attended MAPS’ annual Interfaith Iftar.

Courtesy photo of GoRedmond 
                                The 8th annual Bike Bash returns to Redmond on May 17.
Redmond’s annual Bike Bash set for Friday

The event is in its eighth year.

Courtesy photo 
                                EHS DECA officers and advisers.
Eastlake DECA team competes at ICDC in Florida

29 DECA students competed in the DECA ICDC 2019.

Six LWSD students receive National Merit scholarships

The students are six of 2,500 high school seniors nationwide to win this scholarship.

Isabella, 8, from Sammamish wears a traditional Mexican dress at the first Cinco de Mayo festival in Redmond on May 5.
Redmond celebrates Cinco de Mayo

The city’s first Cinco de Mayo festival included live music, traditional Mexican foods and more.