Winston Churchill School has kicked off a new program.
The school has partnered with the Prairie North Regional Health Authority to kick off the Buddy Bench, where students who have nobody to play with can sit on the bench, and be approached by other children who want to include them in their group.
Chair of Winston Churchill’s School Community Council Bekki Fossen says she thinks the bench will foster inclusiveness.
“Some kids probably feel like they don’t get included in activities,” Fossen said. “This is a way that they can possibly get out and meet new friends.”
Lloydminster in Motion worked with the school to start the program. Member Bonita Brick says she believes the bench will be helpful for shy children.
“Recess can be overwhelming,” Brick said. “When you’re out there, and you’ve got all these other kids everywhere having fun, and you think ‘I don’t even know what I should do, or where I should go’ [the bench] can just give them a minute to think about that, and settle it in their own head and then decide that ‘this is the direction I want to go, that looks like a lot of fun’, or to have that helping hand get them off the bench and say ‘come on, let’s hit the swings and have a good time.'”
The Buddy Bench was started at Roundtown Elementary school in Pennsylvania in 2013, and has since spread to other schools in the U.S. and Canada.