Finding a way to make sure every child has a friend.  It may not be new, but it's definitely effective. Kids are learning to befriend each other with the help of a playground bench—but it’s not just any bench. A second grade teacher in the Walled Lake school district created the 'Buddy Bench' for students who don't have friends to play with on the playground.

It’s a great method for teaching kids how to have empathy for one another when they see their classmates sitting on the bench waiting for others to interact with them. It has become an increasingly popular trend in elementary schools, and recently, many districts like West Bloomfield are beginning to jump on the bandwagon.  

A student from West Bloomfield Township pitched the idea for her school after learning about the concept. She says the bench is important for kids because it encourages them to be proactive.

As an effort to stop bullying, many local students using the bench to help their peers recognize other lonely kids, and inviting them to get off the ‘Buddy Bench.’

Hopefully this “buddy-up” trend  will continue to catch the attention of more local schools soon.