The Buddy Bench: Helping Kids Find Friends


SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-At the start of the school year, it can be hard for some students to make new friends. Now thanks to one family, a Harrisburg Elementary School has a system in place that’s make that process a little easier.

A heartwarming photo was posted to Facebook recently, showing a first grader sitting on a bench comforting another student. Violet Breck was using what Horizon Elementary calls the Buddy Bench.

“It helps people that don’t got anybody to play with,” said Violet.

Any child can sit on the bench. Then it’s up to another kid to come over and ask them to play. For Violet, it was an easy choice to make

“So that they’re happy,” said Violet.

A teacher caught the moment, and snapped a photo. She then sent it to violet’s mom who is glad to see the bench is getting used.

“You know you just don’t want them to be alone and you want them to make new friends and I think this buddy bench has a good system to help kids and teachers know about other kids who need help with that friend making,” said Violet’s Mother, Rachael Breck.

For violets family it’s more than just a buddy bench. Her family donated the bench to the  school a year ago in honor of Violet’s grandma.

“We really wanted to honor Diane Breck because that’s the kind of the kind of person she was just bringing joy and sharing kindness with anyone, the mailman, the person walking down the street making friends with everybody,” said Rachael.

So when she saw the photo of her daughter it held even more meaning.

“It just felt like she was kind of embodying the meaning behind the bench and that just meant a lot to us,” said Rachael.

Diane Brecks Bench is now used as a program at the school. At the beginning of the school year kids learn about how to use it.

“I’m happy that the kids can use her bench and it helps us remember her and every time we sit here we remember her,” said Rachael.

Now they can also remember her through their daughter Violet who is carrying on the kindness of her grandma.


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