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Front Row L – R Zach Terry, Davis Moss, Carlee Hensley, and Reagan Forbes,

Back Row L – R Gordon Specht, Kiwanis Club of the Alleghany Highlands; Mallory Thompson, Principal, MVE; Lori Hicks, Bath Community Hospital; and Dr. Sandra McHenry, YMCA.

BCH's Stop Bullying Task Force, Kiwanis Club Team For Buddy Benches

Hot Springs, VA (FEb. 5, 2024) - The Bath Community Hospital Stop Bullying Task Force (SBTF) is dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive community by preventing and stopping bullying.

Aiming to address loneliness and exclusion in school environments, the Task Force reached out to Kiwanis for help in constructing Buddy Benches for Alleghany Highlands Public Schools. Like BCH, The Kiwanis Club of the Alleghany Highlands is committed to enhancing the lives of children and communities through various service projects. Kiwanis recognized Neathawk Lumber for providing materials and Boys Home for constructing each one.

The Buddy Bench concept has gained support from educators, parents, and students for its potential to combat social isolation and promote positive relationships among children. These benches serve as symbols of kindness, friendship, and inclusivity, and various schools are implementing their own unique approaches to ensure no child feels left out during recess or other social activities.

“We appreciate these visible reminders of kindness and friendship on our campuses!” – Kim Halternman and Melinda Snead-Johnson, leaders of Alleghany Highlands Public Schools.

This initiative is part of Bath Community Hospital’s Stop Bullying Task Force’s plans to continually support schools, parents, teachers, and the community in addressing the emotional suffering caused by bullying. Additionally, a partnership with the YMCA Healthy Highlands Program has been initiated to develop educational programming for students, focusing on understanding and preventing bullying.

The emotional consequences of bullying can have a significant impact on students' well-being and academic performance, leading to low self-esteem, depression, and social isolation.

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About Bath Community Hospital:

Bath Community Hospital is a leading healthcare institution dedicated to serving the community's medical needs. The Stop Bullying Task Force, a part of Bath Community Hospital's community outreach initiatives, is committed to addressing bullying and its emotional impact on students. Through collaboration and advocacy, they strive to create a nurturing environment where all students can thrive.


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