White House honors York County’s ‘buddy bench’ creator

The Associated Press

YORK — A Pennsylvania boy whose idea for a “buddy bench” helped lonely kids find friends in the schoolyard got a special mention by Melania Trump at the launch of her “BE BEST” initiative.

She unveiled her new campaign Monday at the White House Rose Garden. She’s focusing on areas that she says challenge children: the issues of well-being, social media and opioid abuse.

She invited Central York student Christian Bucks to the event to highlight his “buddy bench” movement.

When Bucks was a second grader in 2013, he saw some kids at school who didn’t have anyone to play with. So he convinced his school, Roundtree Elementary, to bring in a buddy bench.

If students feel lonely, they can go to the bench and another student will come by and ask if they want to play.

Schools around the country have followed his lead.

Roundtown Elementary second-grader Christian Bucks shows off the "buddy bench," a concept he created to help children feel included at the school Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. His idea has received national acclaim. BILL KALINA-bkalina@yorkdispatch.com