Local School's New Buddy Bench

By Jim Madalinsky

Published 06/03 2014 03:38PM

Updated 06/03 2014 03:40PM

NEW PARIS, BEDFORD COUNTY - As bullying in schools continues to gain more national attention, one local school has a new idea they hope develops better relationships between kids.
It isn't just a bench, it's an opportunity for kids to share their feelings and make some friends.
“Just in case someone needs a buddy they can go sit on the buddy bench,” 2nd grader Chase Collier says.
“I think it's really good if people are really sad and they really need a friend,” 2nd grader Ann Elise says.
It's called the buddy bench.
2nd grader Christian Bucks from York, PA first got the idea after seeing one at a school in Germany.
Now the trend is starting to catch on here.
“The class theme in our room is be kind and I thought it fit and I asked the students if they wanted to do it and they were really excited about it,” 2nd grade teacher Lisa Donatelli says.
The students at Central Elementary School in the Chestnut Ridge School District worked together to bring the bench to life.
“If they need a place to sit when their feeling blue or sad the other students will come up and sit with them,” Donatelli says.
And with so much talk of bullying in schools, this simple seat shows a different side.
“I think it shows great compassion and it really enables to students who can't say maybe I'm lovely or sad and it gives them a place to go,” Donatelli says.

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