At an all-school assembly on a beautiful Monday afternoon, students at La Porte City Elementary School were introduced to a pair of new benches that come with a special purpose. The bright blue benches, appropriately labeled “Buddy Bench” are designed to foster friendship and help eliminate loneliness.
The origin of the buddy bench in the United States is credited to a second grade boy named Christian Bucks. When his family was considering a move to Germany, he saw one in a brochure for a German school and thought it would be a good idea for his school in Pennsylvania. The buddy bench movement has spread rapidly in recent years and they have become fixtures on playgrounds across the nation.
The notion of a buddy bench at La Porte City Elementary School began last school year. Working with the La Porte City Police Association, La Porte City Fire & Rescue, La Porte City Youth Soccer and the La Porte City Lions Club, each organization made financial donations to make the installation of the buddy benches possible on the elementary school playground.
Guidance Counselor Whitney Robbins, with the help of some students who role-played an example of how the benches can be used, will be working with students in the coming weeks to actively teach and help students understand the benefits the benches can offer.