Monday, 2 March 2015

EDHS Gives Back to the Community with Buddy Benches for HCES

By student writer:  Vanessa Tucci
Elmvale District High School has taken on a project charmingly named Buddy Benches. Four students -Joshua Bowles, Alex Spence, Will Skinner, and Jacob Ploeg- from our high school's Tech class, have built two benches that will be donated to Huronia Centennial Elementary School sometime this spring. The objective, for theses benches, is to encourage positive interaction among the Elementary students and to help them make new friends: hence the iconic term Buddy Benches. As Tech student Joshua Bowles says, "[For us] it's not just about giving back to the community, but for kids to make friends on the benches."
Furthermore, Elmvale District High School is the first school in Simcoe County to complete their benches. This is not the first time our high school's Tech class has donated something to the community either. Last year, the Tech class donated four benches to the International Plowing Match.

Yet, besides having the pleasure of "giving back to the community," the boys also said that, "[they] had a fantastic time making them, it was a fun project, [and] definitely a learning experience." It took them two and a half weeks to complete the benches that began with researching various bench designs, laying out measurements/height limitations, drawing a few different designs, modeling them on a computer, and then finally building the real thing. All together, the boys came up with seven of their own, unique designs, and decided on just two for each bench. Joshua Bowles says, "I'd love to have our creations displayed in the community. It’s our work of art and stroke of ingenuity. It’s nice to represent our school and give back to the community."

As well, the benches are made of cedar wood as opposed to the traditional pine. The Tech teacher, 
Mr.Lanskail, explains that, "cedar is more expensive but it’s more durable for outside." All the better for HCES students who will be using them.  Next step with the benches is to collaborate with the elementary school students to decide on the drawings and words that are most fitting to adorn these buddy benches. This artwork will be courtesy of our EDHS arts students with support from art teacher, Mrs. Mitchell. All in all, the high school students could not be more pleased to be giving something like this to their community. As Joshua Bowles says, "The community supports us so... [why not give something back in return]?"

From here on, we await Huronia's creative response to the Elmvale High's artistic initiation. And we can only wonder what our visual artists will come up with for the amiably named Buddy Benches project.

Bench 1: Made by Joshua Bowles and Alex Spence
Bench 2: Made by Will Skinner and Jacob Ploeg 

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