Here’s a great idea – a buddy bench helps kids not be left out on the playground. Students who feel lonely or left out can sit on the buddy bench and ask to be included without saying a word.
The buddy bench at Mesa Elementary in Boulder Colorado is the first school in the district to have a buddy bench on the playground. And so far, its a very positive step.
“Every school needs something like this,” said Mesa first-grade parent Eileen Kiernan-Johnson. “There’s a time when every kid feels left out or doesn’t know who to play with on the playground.”
The buddy bench idea came from a second-grade boy in York, Pa., who saw one in a catalog for a school in Germany. He pitched the idea to his principal, who agreed a buddy bench would help. A local newspaper story on the bench got picked up and shared by national media and through social media — and schools around the country have adopted the idea.
At Mesa, the first-grade classes took on the buddy bench project, paying for the small bench and a plaque. First-graders also decorated the bench with handprints and served as bench ambassadors, talking to the school’s other classes about the bench and its purpose.
Lucy Michaels, one of the first-grade ambassadors, said the bench can be used when “you don’t have a friend and there’s nobody to play with and you’re sad.”
She added that the bench means “you don’t have to do talking” to find someone to play.
Classmate Ian Schwartz, who sat on the bench three times to test it out, said he shared bench rules with other classes, including no jumping over it.
“We should respect the buddy bench,” he said.