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Enterprising student in Wayne creates Buddy Bench

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Peyton Theusch (photo, above) is 8 years old and has a caring heart. The third grader at i4 Learning Community School in Wayne spent some time with his dad working on a project.

“It’s called a buddy bench,” said Theusch. “I hope it makes a difference to the school and helps kids get new friends.”

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The premise behind the buddy bench is simple as it’s designed to “eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground.”

Two years ago Theusch was watching the news with his parents when he saw a segment on the show about a buddy bench. He asked if he could make one … and the rest is history.

“I built it with my dad,” Theusch said.  “I was the tester and I used the drill.”

The wood-framed bench was celebrated on a cold, windy, Monday afternoon. Students from the entire school gathered on the playground and gave it a good sit. (see photos below)


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There was squealing and smiling during the induction; teachers, parents and the press snapped photos.

“It shows he has leadership skills,” said Dana Kocan Theusch, Peyton’s mom.   “He cares about others feelings and he cares about everybody.”

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School counselor Jody Mundigler-Hemauer had high praise for Peyton. “He wrote a letter to student government and then raised money for supplies by selling bracelets. He worked off a design he saw on TV and then built it with his dad,” she said.   “The kids used paint and put their hand print on the bench – it’s just beautiful.”

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Peyton was the center of attention during this week’s unveiling. “I want to thank Zuern Building Supply for doing this because if they weren’t there this bench wouldn’t come to this school,” he said.

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Classmates crowded onto the bench, their legs dangling over the edge. Peyton accepted the praise with humble appreciation.

A job well done as an 8-year-old made a difference. When asked what’s next he said, “I might make a bench for time-outs.”


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