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Melania Trump highlights York County student's buddy bench

Written by Anthony J. Machcinski/The York Daily Record | May 8, 2018 4:51 AM
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Christian Bucks, 11, sits for a portrait on his original "buddy bench" outside Roundtown Elementary School Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Manchester Township, York County, Pa. As a first-grade student at Roundtown Elementary School in 2013, Christian Bucks first learned of the buddy bench concept when his family faced the possibility of moving to Germany and his parents showed him a picture of a buddy bench at an international school there. (Photo: Chris Dunn, York Daily Record)

(York) -- Christian Bucks, a York County native, got national recognition on Monday after First Lady Melania Trump paid personal attention to him as part of her announcement of the "Be Best" platform.

Christian first came into the limelight in 2013 at the age of 11 when he helped bring the buddy bench to the playground at Roundtown Elementary School in the Central York School District.

The idea was simple: If a student feels lonely on the playground without anything to do, they can go to the buddy bench, and another student will come to the bench and ask if they want to play or talk.

The First Lady's platform will focus on well-being, fighting opioid abuse and positivity on social media, according to CNN.

"It concerns me that in today's fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide," Trump said during the event. "I feel strongly that as adults we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life."

Christian was one of several positive examples in the crowd for Trump's speech, according to the report.

Trump, in particular, singled out his example to "tout her commitment to helping emotional health in children, developing relationship skills," according to the report.

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First lady Melania Trump speaks on her initiatives during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Washington. The first lady gave her multipronged effort to promote the well-being of children a minimalist new motto: "BE BEST." The first lady formally launched her long-awaited initiative after more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
 

To read more about Bucks, and the widespread reach of the buddy bench, check out the links below.

I am an American: Christian Bucks popularizes the Buddy Bench

Buddy bench at Roundtown Elementary to help foster friendships

Buddy Benches multiplying around York County

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