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Carpentry students in Mebane create ‘Buddy Benches’ for kids

MEBANE, N.C. -- Saws buzz and drills whirl in John Stewart's carpentry class at Eastern Alamance High School. His classroom is always a buzz of activity, but this month the activity is taking on more importance than ever.

"We can build just about anything in here, and we do, Stewart said.

The project students are working on is a partnership between the Alamance County school and the Alamance County Bar association.

Carpentry students are building Buddy Benches that will be placed at all 14 of the elementary schools in the county. The Bar Association bought the supplies, while the students provided the labor. Everyone involved says it is a win-win situation. Plus, the students get to learn how to use a new piece of equipment.

"It's a Computer Numerically Controlled router," he says. "So we draw our program on a cab program, it will convert it into 'G' code which is what the computer reads to tell the router which way to move and its moving on an X Y and Z axis."

"Everything is done completely with technology," said junior James Allen. "It's a big learning curve from using a drill to using that. It's fun to learn how to use it."

Allen said he is excited to see the completed benches used by kids who want to find a friend.

"I'll feel proud of myself whenever I get to see these being used out in the community and I'm proud of all my other classmates and their work. It makes me proud to be here in Mebane and it also makes me proud to go to this school," he said.