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Buddy Benches Dedicated at LDISD

Buddy Bench A special Buddy Bench Dedication ceremony for the three LDISD elementary school playgrounds took place September 14, at Lake Dallas Elementary School. The benches were made and donated by Brian and Carmen Richard.

Administrators, teachers and student leaders from all five LDISD campuses attended the dedication ceremony at Lake Dallas Elementary school including student council officers from Lake Dallas High School and Lake Dallas Middle School, as well as 5th grade Leader in Me students from each of the elementary schools.

Superintendent Dr. Gayle Stinson spoke at the dedication thanking the Richard family and the student leaders that showed compassion and leadership to provide the bench as a resource to students who need a friend, remarking that “at times, we all just need a buddy.”  

The Buddy Bench concept is a simple idea to promote inclusion in play, eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. This was an idea developed by a little boy named Christian who wanted to spread the message of inclusion and kindness. Students are encouraged to meet new friends at the bench to play, talk and walk, or just sit and be a friend.

“We are excited that every LDISD elementary campus now has a "Buddy Bench" so that no child has to feel left out at recess,” Ms. Katie Chalkley, LDHS Student Council advisor said. “This project helps us teach our youngest Falcons that everyone is included.”

In the coming days, the Leader in Me students will help to show all the other students on their campuses the purpose of the benches, and demonstrate how to use them. Students will learn the “rules of the bench,” as set up by Christian when he developed the idea. Here are the rules*:

When you sit on the Buddy Bench

  • Before you sit on the Buddy Bench, think of something you would like to do. Ask someone else to play with you.
  • The bench isn’t for socializing. Only sit there if you can’t find anyone to play with.
  • While you’re sitting on the bench, look around for a game you can join.
  • If you see something you want to do or a friend you want to talk to, get off the bench!
  • If you’re sitting on the bench, play with the first classmate who invites you.
  • Keep playing with your new friends!

When you see someone sitting on the Buddy Bench

  • Start by saying hello. If you don’t know the person, introduce yourself.
  • Make conversation. What’s up? How are you? I like your shoes.
  • Ask them to play with you or suggest an activity you can do together.
  • Don’t make it the last time you hang out. Keep playing with your new friend.

*Note: These recommendations are adapted from “Wanted: Playground Buddy” and Christian’s Buddy Bench.


Photo gallery of Dedication

WFAA report