Plum’s Pivik elementary faculty college students have a brand new place to make mates courtesy of a distinguished alumni couple

Pivik elementary school students have a new place to sit and make friends.

A buddy bank was recently donated to K-4 in the Plum School District by Renee DeMichiei Farrow and her husband Bob.

Both are respected alumni and wanted to give something back to the district.

Renee Farrow said they were looking for a bank to honor their family on the Renton ball field when the idea came up to give the school district one.

She said she knew what it was like to be a bully and being bullied as a kid and wanted to encourage more positive student lifestyles.

“It’s about making a difference,” Farrow said. “I just think it’s a really great thing.”

The bench is a tool that students can use to express kind actions.

Students can sit on the bench to signal that they are looking for someone to play with or who is having a difficult day. If another child sees someone sitting on the bench, they will be asked to invite them to play.

The project lasted almost a year. The family received the bespoke bench from Tree Top Products in Batavia, Illinois.

“It was well received,” said director Kristen Gestrich. “I think, especially this year, the students come to school with additional worries. It’s nice to give them another way to make a friend or find someone to play with without having to worry about it. “

The 4-foot bench is made of composite resin. It was installed near the school’s KaBOOM! Playground.

Gestrich shot a video about the bank and about her reading of “The Buddy Bench” by Patty Bronzo to raise awareness of the project in the school.

Plum students have the opportunity to study in person or online for five days.

Around 740 students are enrolled in Pivik every day, of which more than 600 are in the building.

Renee Farrow grew up in Renton. Elementary school students in this neighborhood have been attending Pivik since Renton School closed years ago.

There is a plaque behind the bank to commemorate the donation.

“Me and my husband weren’t the best in our classes and we both did very well,” said Farrow. “So that a little child can see and think, ‘What is a respected alumni? ‘That opens a conversation in which people strive for things. “

Bob Farrow, a 1974 graduate and a member of the inaugural class of the Pittsburgh Paramedics, began a community service life as a junior firefighter on the unit’s volunteer fire department. For many years he was the head of the city’s hazardous materials team and has asserted himself in all positions in the EMS department.

He retired as EMS chief from Pittsburgh.

Renee Farrow, a 1976 graduate, is Director of Business Development at Architectural Innovations, former entrepreneur, small business attorney, and two-time Amazon best-selling author.

Michael DiVittorio is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367,, or on Twitter.

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