The Buddy Bench
When Christian Bucks, a York, PA second-grader, noticed that some of his classmates did not have anyone to play with at recess, he came up with a way to help them. He suggested something called a “Buddy Bench” be installed on the playground. The “Buddy Bench” is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. Experts say that including kids who are alone at recess or lunch can also help combat bullying. With the help of our amazing 8th grade class, we will be painting one of our benches and creating a designated “Buddy Bench” on our playground!
One of the many great things about this program is that for the most part, it is maintained by students. At its core, the “Buddy Bench” is simply students helping students. Peer support is a critical factor in combating bullying and fostering kindness to create a true school community. Our hope is that this simple bench can help to build empathy, teach inclusiveness and act as a reminder to be kind to one another. It compliments our school wide approach to developing a positive social culture.
The basic concept of the bench is simple: Lonely student cannot find friends to play with goes to the bench; other students notice the student on the bench and invite him/her to play; student on bench accepts. Of course, life is not always this simple. That is why students will be taught a few rules.
Buddy Bench Rules:
- Have a plan before you go out to play.
- Try your words first to find a friend before using the bench.
- Sit and wait for a friend to ask you to play.
- Playground friends look around from time to time to see if a lonely classmate is using the bench. If someone is on the bench, invite him or her to play.
- If you choose to use the bench, you must accept a friend’s invitation to play.
- If no one approaches a student on the bench, an adult will help that student find a “buddy."
The buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. Check out our 8th graders demonstrating the use of the Buddy Bench and setting a positive example for our youngsters at SGES! Help spread the message of inclusion and kindness!