‘Friendship rock’ helps bring children together at Virginia elementary school

Colonial Heights, Va. (WRIC) — An elementary school in Colonial Heights is trying something new to help bring children closer together.

On a playground full of children, it’s still easy to be lonely. Kids don’t always feel like they fit in. So, at Tussing Elementary School, there’s a special spot designed to bring the kids together.

“Well, whenever you don’t have a friend, you can come over here and sit on it and then people will come over and then you’ll have a friend,” explains second grader Jayden Fletcher.

It is a friendship rock. That’s a place where students can build relationships. Principal David Staples put the rock on the playground after seeing a story about another one at a school in Massachusetts.

“It is a visual reminder to be friends and work together, whether they sit on it or not,” says Principal Staples.

The concept is simple. Kids who are feeling lonely or excluded go to the rock and then other children respond.

“When people walk over, you will be sitting right here on the rock and you will have a friend,” says second grader Destiny Jones.

Not only does the friendship rock help the children bond, it helps boost their self-confidence. Kindergarten teacher Jessica Resnick has watched it happen.

“It’s been a nice way for them to try to solve that problem,” says Resnick. “And as well as look over and see the rock and help fill a friend’s bucket, help make their day a little bit brighter.”

Added Principal Staples, “In essence, so none of us have to be lonely. So you know if that’s the message that gets out there, then that rock is like gold.”

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