The ‘Friendship Bench’: A visual reminder to be kind

Positively KELOLAND

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — A 5th grader in the Rapid City School District wanted something a little different for his birthday. So he came up with an idea called the ‘Friendship Bench’.

Bodhi Linde does a service project every year for his birthday.

“I realized that some kids, especially new kids were left out on the playground without a friend and they couldn’t find a friend so I thought what if we got that group of people together to make friends,” Linde said.

Bodhi came up with the ‘Friendship Bench’ idea on his 10th birthday, and with some help with Complete Contracting Solutions and some fundraising, they were able to get the bench put in right before Christmas Break of 2019.

“He came to me on one of the first times I ever met him and said, ‘I raised money for a friendship bench and I want to put it in the school is that okay?’ and he was very excited about it and I said ‘absolutely!’,” Principal Cyndi Lundgren said.

Principal Cyndi Lundgren says the ‘Friendship Bench’ serves as a visual reminder to treat one another with kindness, respect, and to just be friends.

“Bodhi saw a need, and he didn’t just see the need and voice the need, he went about a way to take care of or address the need, and when a 10-year-old does that I think that speaks so loudly to other kids and parents in the community and it spoke to me as a principal,” Principal Lundgren said.

Bodhi says it would be pretty cool if other schools got a ‘Friendship Bench’.

“I’ve seen a couple people use it and I’ve just seen people sitting on it too, yeah, I’m really excited this is done,” Linde said.

Bodhi is already onto his next project called ‘Bodhi Bikes’. He hopes to make drivers more aware of bikers on the road.

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