French Road Elementary School recently added a special new buddy bench near its playground. The bench is in memory of student Mila Ruangsuwana. Special education teacher Mrs. Drake’s father built and donated the bench to the school and art teacher Mrs. Burtner painted the bench with a theme from “Wonder,” one of Mila’s favorite books. Lastly, Mila’s mother, sister, and staff members close to Mila painted the back of the bench.
A buddy bench is a place where students can go to when they need someone to play with or someone to talk to. “If you knew Mila, you loved her,” FRES Principal Dr. Rioux said. “She was often described as kind, caring, and a good friend who looked out for everyone. We hope that this bench will help both new and old friends connect, while encompassing the beautiful essence that we remember of Mila.”