Buddy Table at LFP Elementary ensures that every child has fun at recess

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Students wait for the signal to begin recess
and check out the new Buddy Table
Photo by Jerry Pickard

By Silje Sodal

On Friday, March 31st, Lake Forest Park Elementary School held a kick-off celebration for the newest item on the LFP playground – the LFP Buddy Table.

From left: Marley Banker, PTA; Catherine Stanford, LFP Deputy Mayor; David
Wilson, Shoreline School Board; Silje Sodal, PTA

On hand for the festivities were LFP Deputy Mayor Catherine Stanford and Shoreline School Board Director David Wilson, along with the popular Bubbleman (aka Gary Golightly) who engaged students in some bubble fun.

Ensuring that recess is a fun, safe and welcoming experience for all students has been a longstanding priority for the PTA and staff of Lake Forest Park Elementary School. Working in close partnership over the last couple of years:

  • Two surveys have been conducted to assess the fun factor at recess and solicit ideas;
  • Additional playground equipment has been purchased;
  • Additional training has been provided for recess staff;
  • LFP has partnered with Dale Turner YMCA to add an adult recess coach at recess two days a week to teach games; and
  • The Recess Buddy program has been developed and kicked off in the fall with over 60 students in grades 3-6.  (Recess Buddies receive special training and leadership opportunities to welcome and engage other kids on the playground.)

Playing at the Buddy Table
Photo by Jerry Pickard

The aim of the Buddy Table is to promote friendship and ensure that every student has a place on the playground. Not only can kids draw, play games, read or rest at the table, but it’s also a place for engagement.

If a student is feeling left out or alone at recess, Recess Buddies can connect with them at the Buddy Table and either invite them to play or join them at the table.

As one student shared in welcoming the Buddy Table, “The Recess Buddies can use the life skill of friendship and invite lonely students sitting at the Buddy Table to play games at recess with others so that everyone has a friend.”
Eagerly checking the Buddy Box for games and toys
Photo by Jerry Pickard

Principal Miner agreed, saying,

“The Buddy Table is a place to foster friendships, have fun together playing games, and a gathering place to talk and problem solve. We are grateful to our PTA for helping us to make recess more fun, safe and engaging.”

The LFP PTA is grateful to the Zelo, Tubbs and Sodal/Claar families for their contributions, along with LFP parent Melissa Hansen for her graphic design talents, Snapdoodle Toys for donating toys and games, and Mr. T’s Trophies for providing the placard.


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