Jill Vialet


Best of 2013: 5 Ways Kids Inspired Us Through Play

Students, schools, and communities get stronger when we all reconnect with the spirit of play.

I have long been a believer in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid. But this year I noticed an interesting trend: the power of kids playing to bring out the best in all of us. This year more than any I can recall, has had a number of notable moments when a playful and inspiring message from, by or about kids, has gone viral. Here are five of the most notable:

1. Buddy Benches: Second-grader Christian Bucks worried about his classmates standing alone on the sidelines at recess. So he brought the buddy bench to his school. If a student is feeling lonely, they can sit on the bench, and another student will know to come ask them to play. "We show we care about others when we ask others to play," Christian said. "I also hope that new friendships will be made because of the buddy bench." Christian's story has been shared thousands of times inspiring buddy benches in other schools across the country.

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