Hayes Primary School, in the Hantam region, has received a donation of outdoor table benches, which were made locally by the De Aar-based family business, Dumas Ingenieurswerke.
This small local community school of just fifty-four learners, comprising of Grade R to Grade 7, previously had no place to eat their school lunches. “With these new table benches, we hope to not just provide seating, but to promote social skills and a time for learners to sit and eat together,” said Hlengiwe Radebe, Economic Development Director for De Aar Solar Power.
Hayes Primary School Principal, Yolande de Klerk: “The extra strong table benches will be centrepieces in the learner’s everyday activities for many years to come. More than helping us achieve our goal of making a difference in the lives of the children, we’ll be using them to help teach them table manners and good eating habits.”
“In 2017, we assisted Hayes Primary by supplying them with equipment and stationary for creative skills and art development. It was during our visit to the school that we became aware that the learners would benefit from table benches, where the children can sit and eat their lunch,” added Radebe.
Buddy Benches are becoming common place in school yards across the country. Established as a place for students to sit and show they are seeking new friendships and interactions, the Buddy Bench, with the backup of solid education, has proven to be an integral part of Schoolyard Social Interaction.
The table benches seat eight children, so the school needs an additional three to accommodate all learners.
A new awareness of the importance of playground seating and social spaces is growing around the world with campaigns such as the Buddy Bench School Project. This is being actively adopted by schools and city urban planners across the globe, with the focus being on creating awareness about the link between social interaction and a feeling of belonging, which benefits our mental and physical health.