Need a Buddy? The Buddy Bench is here!

Ricky F., Progress & Change

The playground is a magical place where students can release their wild side after enduring four hours of education. The playground allows kids to play many outdoor activities, such as four square, basketball, football, soccer, and more. Everyone may seem to be having a fun time, but students sometimes don’t notice that one kid is all by themselves, alone, in the shadows. However, this will not be true anymore with the buddy bench. The buddy bench is there for any kids that are all by themselves and want to play with other children. 

There is quite a history with the buddy bench. In 2013, ten-year-old Christian Bucks thought that his family was moving to Germany for his father’s job, and his mother showed him many brochures previewing different schools he could go to. He would be the new kid there, and that meant he would have no kids to play with on the playground. While looking at one school, they found a solution for this: the buddy bench. When someone sits on the bench, it signals to the other students that that person wants to play with other people, but currently doesn’t have anyone with whom to play. Christian never did go to Germany, but he was the one that introduced the buddy bench here in America. 

Just about every kid has gone through a lonely time in school. They may be shy, not having any friends, or just may not feel comfortable approaching others who are already playing. If the Buddy Bench had never been introduced to Americans, those kids may still be lonely to this day. Luckily, schools, including St. Robert, have caught on to the idea of the buddy bench to solve this issue.

Mrs. Beckmann says, “Our Athletic Association offered to buy the bench because teachers at the school have been talking about the idea for several years as a potential way to remind students to be kind and inclusive.” Now kids can be more kind to students when they see someone on the buddy bench. The bench is also being made custom for Saint Robert. It will be customized to have “Saint Robert” engraved into the bench.  The buddy bench was ordered a couple of months ago and should arrive soon. The bench cost just under 1,000 dollars, and it was donated by the Athletic Association. In comparison to last year’s gym speakers – the donation made previous by the association – the bench is much less expensive.

The Buddy Bench will be located at the exterior gym wall on the playground. This is because, during recess, kids can use it when they want to play with someone. By looking along the gym wall, others at play can easily see when someone is looking for a friend. All they have to do is sit on the bench, and then other kids can come over there and ask them to play with them. People shouldn’t be afraid of using the buddy bench. The buddy bench is here to help people make new friends on the playground, not to embarrass anyone or make them feel alone. 

The buddy bench is a great thing to have at St. Robert School. Kids at the school can make new friends while they are still young. Even though most kids can get lonely from time to time, with the buddy bench they will not be lonely anymore. Everyone should look forward to the new and exciting future for Saint Robert with this great addition.


Itkowitz, Colby. “Kids don’t have to be lonely at recess anymore thanks to this little boy and his ‘buddy bench’”, The Washington Post, The Washington Post, 4 April 2016.

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