Photo courtesy of the South Country Central School District
Students cheered as the ribbon was cut on a colorful new buddy bench at Brookhaven Elementary School on the brisk afternoon of Oct. 19. The handmade bench was a gift to the school as part of Bellport High School sophomore Dylan Carozza’s Boy Scout Eagle project.
Buddy benches were invented to combat loneliness and bullying in schools. Sometimes called a friendship bench, these benches are provided on school playgrounds as a way for students to signal to others that they are feeling lonely and isolated and need a friend to play with or someone to talk to.
During the ribbon-cutting, Carozza, who is a graduate of Brookhaven Elementary, told students that he wanted them to have a buddy bench to ensure that they never feel alone.
To bring the project to fruition, Carozza worked closely with school administrators, his family and community to obtain permission and materials for the project. He is now one of only 4% of Boy Scouts to earn the rank of Eagle.
Bellport High School sophomore Dylan Carozza cuts the ribbon on a buddy bench he built for Brookhaven Elementary School as part of his Boy Scout Eagle project.