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Buddy Benches given to Silverthorne thanks to Tahtsa Timber

Children sit in the Buddy Bench at Silverthorne Elementary School in Houston. (submitted photo)

Often in life everyone needs a buddy, especially children.

Burns Lake resident Angelika Posselt has responded to that need by starting the Buddy Bench project in schools of the region.

“The bench gets set up outside,” Posselt told Lakes District News. “Kids who don’t have anyone to play with go and sit on it. So other kids can come and either sit with them or get that kid to play with them.”

“There are always kids who are left out. This gives them an avenue to be included.”

Posselt read about the idea online and told her daughter in Houston, who then took the idea to Silverthorne Elementary’s parents advisory committee, which liked the idea and approved it.

Decker Lake Forest Products donated the wood that was built into the two benches by students in Mr. Hoffer’s woodworking class at Lakes

District Secondary School. Starland Supply provided the stain to go on the benches.

Decker Lake Elementary School received the first bench in June, and Silverthorne in October.

Children at Silverthorne have been using the benches to sit on but not officially as Buddy Benches, school secretary Amanda Clee explained. The school plans on holding a Buddy Bench teaching session for the students to show them how to use them.

Buddy Benches, also known as Frienship Benches have been around since 2012 when an American student named Acacia Woodley introduced the concept.

The trend has spread all over the world since then.

Her website and company Tiny Girl, Big Dream sells Friendship Benches and other related accessories.

Her chairs differ in design and colour from the benches set up at Silverthorne and Decker Lake but the goal of helping children overcome loneliness and make friends is the same.