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'Buddy Bench' Debuted At Winnipeg's Gray Academy Of Jewish Education (TWEET)

09/16/2014 08:44 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:54 EDT

Winnipeg's Gray Academy of Jewish Education has installed a "buddy bench" in the schoolyard with the hope that no kid will ever need it to help them find a friend.

The brightly-coloured bench, which was introduced at the school on Monday, invites kids to sit on it to show that they'd like another student to come play with them, CTV News reported.

"At some point, I would like to see the buddy bench be just a decoration in our school. That no one will have the need to use it because everyone is kind of getting along or finding something to do," counsellor Marcelo Mohadeb told the network.

Gray Academy seized on the idea of a buddy bench after teacher Morris Henoch brought it up with staff, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.

The idea came to the forefront after Christian Bucks, a Grade 2 student in York, Pa., saw it online at a school in Germany. He asked to have one installed at his school after noticing that some kids were alone at recess, the York Daily Record reported in 2013.

The idea of a "buddy bench" spread around the world, with more than 200 schools following suit. One Calgary school installed a bench in June, reported the Calgary Herald, while another in Nova Scotia put one in last May.

"They're not just benches, they are tools to help teach our youngest students how to be good citizens, kind friends and to be welcoming to all people," Mohadeb told the Free Press.

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