The Buddy Bench: Restoring One Girl’s Faith in Humanity

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Every once in awhile, I’ll come across something on Facebook that gives me hope for the human race.  It’s crazy, right?  But amidst all the bull clogging up our news feeds, there are little gems that really make us feel good about the world.  Last week, I came across one such video, and wanted to share it with all of you here.

It’s called the Buddy Bench.  A practice used first in Europe, an 8-year-old boy named Christian Bucks saw the idea in a brochure, and implemented the idea at his own elementary school.  It is essentially this: if a child is lonely at recess, or has trouble making friends, they go sit on the Buddy Bench.  They are soon noticed by the other students, and immediately included in a game or conversation.  It is common for children to feel alienated or alone at school, especially if they’re naturally shy or introverted.  The Buddy Bench helps everyone to feel included and accepted, and from my own experience, that is one of the best feelings to experience as a young child.  It is my hope that the values instilled by such a practice will follow the children as they get older, thus eliminating a lot of the bullying that is far too common in schools today.

Christian’s Buddy Bench has been adopted by many other schools around the world since its debut 3 years ago.  I hope that it will become a common practice in school playgrounds everywhere, and that no child ever needs to feel left out again.

To learn more about the Buddy Bench, visit buddybench.org, or watch the video.  In the comments below, feel free to talk about your views on the project, as well as any other ideas you may have to encourage inclusion among your own children!

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