Three trusty buddy benches are beckoning students to become friends at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Elmsford. If a child sits on a bench alone, it is a signal to the other students to ask him or her to play. Through the project, the school is taking proactive steps to fight isolation and promote inclusion. Three benches, like the one above donated by the Class of 2017, were blessed and installed Oct. 2 in a special ceremony attended by all students. Sister Mary Stephen Healey, R.D.C., is the principal. Father Robert Norris is the parish’s pastor. Buddy benches were popularized in the United States in recent years by Christian Bucks, a student in York, Pa., who brought the idea to his elementary school principal after reading about it in a Germany school brochure. Today, there are an estimated 2,000 schools with such benches across the United States and in a dozen other countries.