With their songs ringing across the campus, 100 second-graders at Moore Magnet Elementary School in Winston-Salem on October 23 dedicated a Compassion Corner bench that symbolizes their goal to abide by the Golden Rule: to treat others as they want to be treated.
The L-shaped bench is located on the school’s playground in front of the school. Children are encouraged to use it when they feel lonely, left out or sad, and their classmates know that it’s a time for showing kindness and friendship.
“This is important to our school,” said Principal Amanda Smith. “All of our community has helped to make this possible.”
“The bench has been in place since the start of the school year,” said Anne Collins, the school counselor. “It is working quite well. We have been talking about what it means to be compassionate, so the children understand.”
Art teacher Teresa Wiles worked with students in decorating the bench with words of wisdom and a bright butterfly. Volunteers Rob Castro and Jay McNulty designed and built the bench.
Approximately 50 family members and friends joined the dedication ceremony, which was led by Truman Dunn of Compassionate Winston-Salem. Highland Presbyterian Church and Temple Emanuel, who partner with Moore, paid for placement of the bench. Rev. Randy Harris and Rabbi Mark Strauss-Cohn made comments during the event.
Under a brilliant blue sky, the second-graders lined up on the playground grass and sang several songs, including “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and “Candle on the Water,” under the direction of music teacher Shelley Noisette.
Compassionate Winston-Salem, which sponsors the Compassionate Corner program, hopes to place the benches on each elementary school campus. A second bench, sponsored by Knollwood Baptist Church, will be dedicated Friday morning at Bolton Elementary School.