When faced with the prospect of moving, first grader Christian Bucks was concerned about being lonely on the playground. It was then that he had a simple idea that could have a big impact on kids struggling to make friends on the playground. While Christian ended up not moving, his idea was already in motion.
What is it?
A buddy bench is a bench for children looking for someone to play with. Children sit on it and wait for a new or old friend to come up to them. Christian’s principal, Matthew Miller loved the idea and soon installed the first buddy bench at Roundtown Elementary School. Christian and his principle have since spoken at numerous schools, hosted a TedTalk, and helped introduce buddy benches to schools in Las Vegas and Honolulu.
Now, there is an estimated 2,000 buddy benches in the US. When asked about his impact on schools across the nation, Christian said, “Amazing things happen when you share your hopes and dreams, and you may end up helping more people than you could ever imagine.” Many Schools in Ohio have buddy benches, including Brimfield Elementary School in Brimfield, Ohio.
Kaylee Kapalko, Speech-Language Pathology Intern