"In a world where you can be anything, be kind." ~Unknown
Recently I read about "The Buddy Bench" popping up on school playgrounds across America, and other countries. What a great idea! As a retired elementary teacher I recall many recess duties where kids said, "I don't have anyone to play with," or "I don't know what to do." Others aimlessly roamed. And some chose to "hang out" with a teacher on duty.
The website (buddybench.org) says "The Buddy Bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground," and it spreads "the message of inclusion and kindness."
On the website is the story about Christian Bucks, who in the spring of 2013 as a 1st grader, became aware of the Buddy Bench idea when his family researched German schools for a possible move. Now inspired, he shared the idea with his teacher and principal, who helped make it a reality. In the fall, as a 2nd grader, Christian explained the buddy bench to his school's student body right before it was placed on the playground. The idea has spread into a Buddy Bench movement. And Christian has been invited to participate in the placement of Buddy Benches at other schools. Author Lois Lowry once said, "Kids deserve the right to think that they can change the world." It looks like Christian has a good start.
There are many ways Buddy Benches can be placed on playgrounds. My first thought was this could be a great service project for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, student councils, PTA or PTO groups, sororities and fraternities. Families, craftsmen, and retired folks have already taken the challenge to build or raise money to place Buddy Benches on school playgrounds in their communities.
Thank you Christian for caring to spread kindness and make a difference in our world. And I can't help thinking on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day that he would say to Christian, "Well done!"