Roosevelt Elementary Raises Money for a 'Sweet' New Buddy Bench - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Roosevelt Elementary Raises Money for a 'Sweet' New Buddy Bench

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Even after Valentine's Day, love is still in the air for the students at Roosevelt Elementary School.

But for most little kids, Valentine's Day hardly has any romantic connotation. For them, it's all about heart-shaped candy, chocolate, and having a buddy to care about.

That's why the 'Sweet Treats' fundraiser, organized by the leadership students at Roosevelt, made perfect sense. It also fit nicely into the overall theme of the entire month at the school, "Roosevelt Has a Heart."

All last week, for just fifty-cents, students and parents could write Valentine's Day messages to anyone they would like and get some candy to go along with it.

"Everyone likes to get mail," said 2nd grade teacher and director of the leadership program Deanna Bunch. "But it's fun to get that little message in the morning, that someone thought about you to stop at the table and leave you a message."

One 'Sweet Treats' message read, "you're the best friend ever! Happy Valentine's Day! Please write one back!"

Another read, "you're the best teacher ever. We appreciate you so much."

One student even wrote one to the band One Direction.

But what was truly 'sweet' about this fundraiser was that all the money raised went towards something called a 'buddy bench.'

"It's a bench for kids, that you put out on the playground," explained school counselor Melissa Alfstad. "And when they're feeling lonely or need a friend, you can go sit on the buddy bench and someone can join you."

And when it hopefully arrives in the spring, this bench will help these students keep the true message of Valentine's Day in mind all year long.

"Valentine's Day is about caring," explained 6th grader Annie. "And I think that's what is going on for the buddy bench."

"If we can show on Valentine's Day that we really do care about each other," echoed 6th grader Aiden, "it kind of might pass on, to more and more people, like a chain."

Last week the students made over $100 by selling the 'Sweet Treats' and thanks to some donations from parents.

Mrs. Bunch said they are very close to their goal for buying the buddy bench, but based on what these students learned this Valentine's Day, it seems as if no student will need to sit on the bench by themselves for too long.

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