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Sturgeon R-V installs memorial ‘Buddy Bench’

Posted on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 7:10 am

On May 13, Sierra Ridgway’s family donated the Sturgeon RV

Sturgeon students at the Buddy Bench. From the front left: Isaac Decker, Kolten Ridgway-Day and Chloe Decker. Back: Caleb Cook and Laney Cook.

Sturgeon students at the Buddy Bench. From the front left: Isaac Decker, Kolten Ridgway-Day and Chloe Decker. Back: Caleb Cook and Laney Cook.

School’s Buddy Bench in her honor and there was a dedication ceremony out on the K-8 playground, attended by the kindergarten through fifth-grade classes.

R-V first grade teacher Nicole Umphrey talked with the students about the purpose of the Buddy Bench.

“The Buddy Bench helps students who feel lonely, left out, hurt, or sad by allowing them a place to sit. The idea is that other children will notice they are sitting there and invite them to play.”

Gavin Chism, a third grader invited everyone to join in a moment of silence and Laney Cook, a 4th grader and cousin of Sierra’s, said a prayer over the bench.

Sierra Ridgway, a Sturgeon alumni, was in a car accident a year ago.

Umphrey described her. “Sierra was a shining light that knew no enemies or strangers.  She helped those that she could and planned to go into psychology. Her smile radiated and touched the lives of many teachers who spoke of memories about her. ”

Humphrey said the Sturgeon RV School District has been actively trying to implement the Leader in Me program for two years now.  “The student Leader in Me group, which consists of students who were nominated by their teachers and have met certain requirements, have been helping with many community events this past school year. This group of students also came up with an idea to create a Buddy Bench for the playground and the Ridgway family was able to make this wish a reality.”