Northampton First Grader Donates Buddy Bench to Epps Island Elementary


Northampton first grader Cadence Fraga raised money to buy a Buddy Bench for her aunt’s school, Epps Island Elementary.

When Cadence started first grade at Northampton Elementary, she was very nervous that she wouldn’t have any friends to play with at recess. That’s when her mom told her that the school had a Buddy Bench.

Buddy Benches are created with the hope that students who are naturally shy may be able to make a friend or two at recess without having to initiate a conversation. Once a bench is in place, students learn the meaning behind seeing their peers sitting on one—they’re simply looking for a friend.

The idea of having a place to sit and feel welcomed made Cadence feel less anxious about meeting new friends.

Cadence’s Aunt Casey Wilson also calls Klein ISD home as a 4th grade teacher at Epps Island Elementary. Cadence would often visit Epps Island to help her Aunt in her classroom. One day she asked her Aunt where their Buddy Bench was – Wilson told her they didn’t have one.

After coming to the realization that not all schools have Buddy Benches, Cadence was determined to bring one to a school near and dear to her family. She sold hot dogs, lemonade, painted rocks, and even donated some of her birthday money to help the cause. She raised $500 and was able to buy a Buddy Bench for Epps Island Elementary.

“For a little six-year-old girl to have such a big heart, it brings me to tears to think about it,” Wilson said, “She wants everyone to be happy and have friends. She is just a giver.”

In Klein ISD our hope is all of our students become Values-Driven Leaders who are committed to serving the greater good – just like Cadence.

To learn more about our Profile of a Learner, one of our three guiding documents, visit