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Buddy Bench Partnership

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford.

In 2009 The Community Foundation of Middlesex County Council of Business Partners and the Rushford Center’s Prevention Department came together to work on the No Bully Zone Program. From that program they were able to expand into Middletown Schools, Haddam-Killingworth Middle School, and East Hampton Middle School with the S.A.F.E. Squad curriculum and activities which was a great success for the No Bully Zone Program. They have continued to work together towards success involving students from across Middlesex County to stand up for kindness and unity. 

The Community Foundation of Middlesex County Council of Business Partners' latest partnership has extended to Rushford’s Residential Treatment Program for Adolescent boys. The boys have been instrumental in the creation of the “Buddy Benches.” The Buddy Bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground.  The boys along with staff have been able to hand craft beautiful Buddy Benches for local elementary schools. The first bench was created in September 2017 and presented to Spencer Elementary School in Middletown on October 13, 2017. The kindergarten and first grade classes were invited outside to welcome their new buddy bench to their school.  Students took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony as well as meeting some of the boys that created the bench. The students greeted the boys with applauses and thanks. That very moment showed how working together truly makes a difference. The students from Spencer will forever be part of the first ever Buddy Bench at their school, the entire school community will continue to foster and promote kindness and inclusion and the boys from Rushford have been able to give something that will last for many, many years to come.

What is the Buddy Bench?

The buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. Let's spread the message of inclusion and kindness!

Christian’s Story

In the spring of 2013, when Christian was in first grade, there was a possibility that his family was going to move to Germany. When they were looking at a website for a school overseas, Christian saw picture of a special bench on the playground. He asked about it and liked what he heard. He thought it would be a really great thing to have on the playground at his current school, Roundtown Elementary.  He knew that there were some kids who felt lonely at recess and he thought this would put an end to that! He told his teacher and his principal about it and they thought it was a great idea! Since it was the end of the school year, the principal said he would look into it over the summer and they would get it in place in the fall.

In the end, Christian didn’t move to Germany, so he was able to stay at Roundtown.  Sure enough, his principal researched it and let Christian help pick out the bench in the fall! After the buddy bench arrived, Christian gave a presentation to the school board to explain it. Before it was placed on the playground, Christian spoke in front of his whole school at a community morning meeting to explain the buddy bench and show a video about it that he made with his principal. The kids loved it and were very excited for the bench to be placed on the playground!

The local newspaper did a story on the buddy bench and it caught the attention of the Huffington Post. From there it was picked up by NBC and other media outlets. Christian has heard from students and adults across the country who love this idea and want to do the same thing at their schools! He is so excited by this and is eager to see the buddy bench movement spread. He is happy to help spread the word in any way that he can!

At least 1,000 elementary schools on six continents have installed Buddy Benches on their playgrounds. The popularity of Buddy Benches in the United States is credited to then-first-grader Christian Bucks.

Buddy Bench Rules

  1. Have a plan before you go out to play.
  2. Try your words first to find a friend before using the bench.
  3. Sit and wait for a friend to ask you to play.
  4. Playground friends look around from time to time to see if a lonely classmate is using the bench. If someone is on the bench, invite him or her to play.
  5. If you choose to use the bench, you must accept a friend’s invitation to play.
  6. If no one approaches a student on the bench, an adult will help that student find a “buddy.”

“I hope that new friendships will be made because of the Buddy Bench.” Christian Bucks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buddy Bench at The Country School

When Christian Bucks, a York, PA, second-grader, noticed that some of his classmates did not have anyone to play with at recess, he came up with a way to help them. He suggested something called a “Buddy Bench” be installed on the playground. The “Buddy Bench” is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. Experts say that including kids who are alone at recess or lunch can also help combat bullying. 

With funding from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County Council of Business Partners and support from the Rushford Center, The Country School will be receiving a “Buddy Bench”!  At its core, the “Buddy Bench” is simply students helping students. Peer support is a critical factor in combating bullying and fostering kindness to create a true school community. Our hope is that the bench can help to build empathy, teach inclusiveness and act as a reminder to be kind to one another. It is a compliment to The Country Schools approach to developing a positive social culture. 

We will introduce the “Buddy Bench” to The Country School community on Friday, May 4.  The classroom teachers can spend a few minutes discussing appropriate ways to use the bench with their students once the bench is in place on the playground. For the “buddy bench” story, visit www.buddybench.org.

Buddy Bench Rules

Have a plan before you go out to play.

Try your words first to find a friend before using the bench.

Sit and wait for a friend to ask you to play.

Playground friends look around from time to time to see if a lonely classmate is using the bench. If someone is on the bench, invite him or her to play.

If you choose to use the bench, you must accept a friend’s invitation to play.

If no one approaches a student on the bench, an adult will help that student find a “buddy.”

“I hope that new friendships will be made because of the Buddy Bench.” Christian Bucks