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Buddy Bench helps students make friends | Schools

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Buddy Bench helps students make friends
Buddy Bench helps students make friends

ATLANTA -- The Galloway School in Atlanta recently unveiled the newest addition to its playground: the Buddy Bench, a colorful wooden bench that offers hope.

"There's going to be less bullying, there's going to be less, 'you cannot play with me, you have to be this,'" said first grader Raya Lebowitz.

Raya, whose middle name is Hope, is the reason the school now has a Buddy Bench.

"I heard it on the news and I really got inspired by it," she said.

She inspired by Christian Buck, who started the Buddy Bench movement last year while in second grade at Roundtown Elementary School in York, Pa. The Buddy Bench is a place on the playground for kids to go when they're feeling left out. Christian created a website offering children like Raya a chance to help those who think they don't have friends.

"It feels sad, lonely and like you don't have any friends, and you can sit on the bench and have friends," Raya said.

Theater design students at the Galloway School built the bench, Raya's class decorated it and everyone's excited about it.

The school's playground motto is "you cannot say you cannot play," so Raya already knows what she'll say to any students she sees sitting on the Buddy Bench: "Do you want to come play with me?"

It's a colorful little bench that can give lonely kids a quiet way to speak up.