'Buddy Bench' Helps Lonely Kids Find Friends: Such a Simple, Brilliant Idea

Buddy Bench lets you know when a friend needs companyAt one time or another, most of us have felt shy or a little hesitant to break into an established group. It's even more difficult when you're a kid -- particularly a shy one. To help students who've been experiencing some lonely times at recess, one school has developed a "Buddy Bench" system that lets kids know when one of their classmates is in need of a pal.

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Willowgrove School in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, came up with this super-sweet concept that promotes good feelings and inclusion. Now, for a child who is wandering the playground alone hoping to be asked to join in, sitting on this bench is a way of sending a silent message to classmates that one of their own would like to play.

It's really wonderful to think that the school was so sensitive to the needs of its students. And, according to kids who spoke with CBS News, the bench is already doing the trick!

Instead of walking in circles by themselves, kids are "buddying up" in no time and having a far better day.

More from The Stir: Kids With Siblings Are Just as Lonely as Only Children (VIDEO)

Let's hope more schools take a cue and embrace the "Buddy Bench" idea. For many students, recess is the part of the day they look forward to the most. To spend it alone or isolated is a shame. If you think about kids who are new to a school or have a different group of classmates at the start of a new school year, this is an ideal way for them to let others know they want to play without having to go up and ask, risking potential rejection. Introducing yourself and trying to join a new group can be daunting even for adults!

For parents, it has to be comforting to know that your child isn't sitting alone if he or she doesn't want to be. This bench seems like a great way to possibly make some new friends as well. Sounds like it's a win-win for all!

 

Image via Martin Novak

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