YEG Dignity: Buddy Bench at Garneau School

Beginning in November 2017, Grade 4 students at Garneau Elementary and the John Humphrey Centre engaged in three collaborative learning sessions from the YEG Dignity toolkit.

We explored what dignity looks like: respect, kindness, acceptance, belonging, compassion and pride in who you are were common themes that emerged.

We discussed what we each of us need to feel dignity and shared stories of when we felt respected and listened to, as well as times when we felt isolated or insignificant. We identified things that create barriers to feeling dignity such as loneliness, isolation and poverty.

Students brainstormed ways to increase dignity, respect and belonging.

We discussed how art can be used to promote dignity and the class decided to create a Buddy Bench to promote friendship, increase dignity and combat loneliness and isolation.

Students created a plan of action and led each step of the project.

The bench will be available to the school community as well as the community around the school. We are hoping to promote communication and friendship between people of all ages and backgrounds and create a culture of inclusion that shifts our thinking towards making sure everyone is included. The Buddy Bench will serve as a reminder to look out for each other.

We want to thank End Poverty Edmonton for helping us make that project a reality!