Becoming friends on the playground
When she was named Miss Wisconsin Pre-Teen in April, part of Onalie Dennis’ winnings was $500 cash.
Dennis was unsure of what to do with the money until her mother, Terina, showed her a video of the Buddy Bench.
The video showed how useful the bench could be on school playgrounds in eliminating loneliness and fostering friendship.
“For those who don’t have a friend, so they can know each other and become friends,” she said.
Dennis thought it would be a good addition to Hillside Elementary where she started fifth-grade last month.
Hillside Principal Frank Norton agreed.
“We jumped on it right away,” Norton said, adding the bench would fall in line with the school’s values of doing things and being kind to each other. “We thought it was a great idea.”
The bench was installed two weeks ago nestled in the trees in the school’s playground. Norton said the colors of the bench and location were picked by Dennis.
“The kids sit on it and like it,” Norton said.
The Dennis family wanted to thank Cemstone Ready-Mix for donating the concrete for the slab and Concrete Illusions for the time and labour to pour and stamp the concrete.
“Onalie is always looking for ways to help the community and think of others,” Norton concluded.