Christian Bucks, a second-grader at Roundtown Elementary in York, Pennsylvania, decided to take action when he noticed several of his classmates didn’t appear to have anyone to play with at recess. So he decided to acquire a buddy bench for his school.
Christian first learned about the buddy bench while doing research on schools in Germany. The way it works is if a student feels lonely on the playground, or is upset about something, they can go sit on the buddy bench and another student will come ask if they want to play or talk. Christian said, “If two people are sitting at the bench, they could ask each other if they want to play.” He described the buddy bench as being a way to “grow our dream circle of friends.” His mother, Alyson Bucks said, “He thought this was a great way to help other kids who might feel lonely or left out from time to time.”
According to the York Daily Record, Christian first brought the idea of the buddy bench to Principal Matthew Miller at the end of the last school year. Principal Miller was immediately on board. Christian said, “Mr. Miller checked around and found a bench that would work for our school. Before he ordered the bench, he showed me the colors and I got to pick the style and color of the bench. I was the first person that got to sit on the bench when it arrived at Roundtown.” His mother added, “We encouraged and supported him every step of the way, but it was the Roundtown faculty and staff who brought the idea to fruition. We are so thankful for their support in embracing this idea.”
Christian said that he hopes his classmates will use the buddy bench, and when they see other students sitting there they will approach them to play or talk. He said, “We show we care about others when we ask others to play. I also hope that new friendships will be made because of the buddy bench.”