This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

AVON, Ind. (January 21, 2016) – Avon is a quickly growing community, and that means a lot of new students too.

Students at Sycamore Elementary are making sure those new kids feel welcome.

Payton Baker and her fellow student council members got a bench donated to them from IU West, but they’ve turned it into something more than just a place to sit.

“We just kind of make sure that everybody has respect for everybody,” said Baker.

Rex Rabb is the student council President and loves the idea of the bench.   “It’s for people who might not have a lot of friends,” said Rabb.  “Maybe you just want to make a new friend.  So at recess you go and sit on it and people will come up to you and ask if you want to play with them.”

So they painted it and call it the “Buddy Bench.  Third grade teacher Erica Banas said the bench fights back against bullying.

“We here at Sycamore try so much to be together,” said Banas.  “We’re a family.  We’re a community here.”

Avon is a community that is getting bigger too.  Sycamore Elementary is expecting 100 new students next school year.

“The Buddy Bench is a great way, especially for new students to meet new people,” said Banas.

“As new kids come in I hope they have the same respect for others,” said Baker.