Acacia poses with one of her Friendship Benches.

Silica For Your Home, The Fond du Lac Evening Optimist Club, and Envision Greater Fond du Lac are proud to welcome Acacia (nicknamed ‘Tiny”) Woodley, the founder of Tiny Girl, Big Dream back to the Fond du Lac area. Acacia will be in Fond du Lac this Thursday and Friday (March 15 and 16) to unveil her Friendship Benches at Parkside, Chegwin, and Evans Elementary Schools, as well as The Fond du Lac Boys and Girls Club. Acacia was in Fond du Lac a little over a year ago, delivering Friendship Benches and telling her story to four local elementary schools.

Now 16 years old, Acacia’s big dream began when she was 10 years old. She was bullied at the age of nine after her family moved to Florida and she started attending a new school. It was a very painful time for Acacia. Even though she loved school, she did not want to go because of the bullying.

 

Acacia developed the Friendship Bench as a place that children of all ages  could go to if they were being picked on or bullied, are new to school and don’t know anyone, or they’re just having a bad day. Other children would then know that child needs a friend. She began by putting a Friendship Bench into her school, and the idea blossomed into her dream that every school in America and Canada would have a bench. “Every bench is different and unique, just like all of the children who use them. That’s what makes them special,” Acacia tells the children as she unveils them.

 

“Acacia’s story is amazing,” said Tom Schneider, President of Silica For Your Home. “I had the opportunity to meet Acacia’s about four years ago when she spoke at a trade show and she captivated all of us with her courage. She was a victim of bullying and being left out. Rather than shutting down, she took her experience and decided to make a change,” said Schneider. “Her story is very powerful, and her heart is huge. My goal is to eventually have a Friendship Bench in every Fond du Lac Elementary School, so when Marrianne Bugni reached out to me from the Fond du Lac Evening Optimist Club and wanted to donate two benches to Parkside and Chegwin Elementary, I was very excited.”

 

After the four benches are unveiled in the schools this week, there will be a total of eight benches that have been donated to Fond du Lac and North Fond du Lac Elementary Schools by Silica For Your Home, The Fond du Lac Evening Optimist Club, and Envision Greater Fond du Lac.

 

Continue to watch for updates on her visit to Fond du Lac on Envision Greater Fond du Lac’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EnvisionGreaterFDL/.