Springdale Elementary dedicates buddy bench in memory of Faye Swetlik
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Springdale Elementary School has unveiled a buddy bench that has been dedicated in memory of Faye Swetlik.
Faye Swetlik was a first-grader at the Lexington Two school when she went missing in early 2020. Her body was later discovered shallow grave not far from where she was taken.
Springdale students and staff held the school-wide dedication event Monday. The ceremony included singing, bubbles, and balloons.
The buddy bench in pink, one of Faye’s favorite colors, was given to the school by an anonymous donor.
Misty Burton, owner of Tenfold Collective, also made a donation that allowed the school to purchase an ocean-themed seesaw, adorned with Springdale’s dolphin mascot and the first grade’s shark mascot.
A new red flower table and lime green spinner chair will accompany the buddy bench and seesaw.
“The playground is a place where friendships are made, laughter is contagious, and everyone is accepted,” said Michele Tynes, Faye’s first-grade homeroom teacher. “Faye loved to dance and sing at recess. She made sure everyone had a friend to play with.”
Tynes said the goal is to have a space on the playground that captures Faye’s fun-loving spirit. She said no single item on the playground speaks to that spirit more than the pink bench, inscribed with Faye’s name and painted with rainbows.
“The bright pink bench is a reminder of her message -- love and kindness,” Tynes said. “We hope talking about this will inspire students to embrace this outlook on life, too.”
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