From left, fourth grade students Will Livingston, Allie Hopper and Ryan Aymett pose for a photo on the new Buddy Bench on the Barkley Bridge playground.  | Special to the Enquirer
From left, fourth grade students Will Livingston, Allie Hopper and Ryan Aymett pose for a photo on the new Buddy Bench on the Barkley Bridge playground. | Special to the Enquirer

Archived Story

Buddy bench comes to Barkley Bridge

Published 4:45pm Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Barkley Bridge recently added a Buddy Bench to the school playground.

The way the buddy bench works is if a student feels lonely on the playground without anything to do, he or she can go to the buddy bench and another student will come to the bench and ask if they want to play or talk.

We hope students will be encouraged to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship, kindness and caring on the playground.

Christian’s Story – history of Buddy Bench

In the spring of 2013, when Christian Bucks was in first grade, there was a possibility that his family was going to move to Germany. When they were looking at a website for a school in Germany, Christian saw picture of a special bench on the playground. He asked about it and liked what he heard. He thought it would be a really great thing to have on the playground at his current school, Roundtown Elementary School in Pennsylvania.  He knew that there were some kids who felt lonely at recess, and he thought this would put an end to that. He told his teacher and his principal about it and they thought it was a great idea.

In the end, Christian didn’t move to Germany, so he was able to stay at Roundtown School. The principal, Mr. Miller, researched it and let Christian help pick out the bench. Christian made a video for his school to explain how to use the Buddy Bench. The kids loved it and were very excited for the bench to be placed on the playground.

The local newspaper did a story on the buddy bench and it caught the attention of the Huffington Post. From there it was picked up by NBC and other media outlets. Christian has heard from students and adults across the country who love this idea and want to do the same thing at their schools. He is so excited by this and is happy to hear of other schools that have a buddy bench.

The buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship, kindness and caring on the playground. http://buddybench.org/.

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