Have you ever had a moment when you just felt like you needed a friend? What would it be like to walk into a classroom, a cafeteria, or the playground and not have anyone to play with? When Christian Bucks moved to a new town because of his dad’s work, he saw a school with a bench that kids could sit on if they were feeling lonely. The school had taught all the kids to keep an eye on the bench, and if they saw a kid on it, they should go help that kid feel included and less lonely. Christian loved the idea and brought the bench to his school administrators, and then wanted to get the Buddy Bench out to as many schools as possible. Christian is not the inventor of Buddy Benches, but he was instrumental in getting information out about them to the media, who loved the idea, and it caught on and spread to schools all over the United States, and even the world! Christian is a kid like lots of us, moving to a new school, a little nervous about how to make friends, but once he saw a potential solution, he realized that he wasn’t the only lonely kid in the world and that other kids could benefit from not only the Buddy Bench, but training about how to be welcoming, inclusive and friendly to all kids at a school. Christian didn’t want to be a bystander, he wanted to be a buddy, and because of him, there are fewer schools with kids looking for a friendly face!
To learn more about Christian Bucks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-Go26RiCMM
To get a Buddy Bench for your school: http://buddybench.org/get-involved/bring-bench-school/
What are ways you can be more inclusive to kids at your school and in your class? Are there ideas you could suggest to your teacher, that might help kids feel more included and less alone? How do you hope all the kids at your school feel when they come to school each day?
Closing prayer: Dear God, Let us always look for the people searching for a friend and stretch out our hands and hearts to them. Amen.