'Buddy Bench' helping encourage friendship at one elementary school

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Student Fiona Kutcher is a fifth grader at Shaffer Elementary in Atwater.

She knows exactly what it is like to be an outcast. Kids at her school used to make fun of her name.

"I've been bullied a lot this year so I really wanted to do something for the school," said Fiona.

With some help from the school, she found a promising solution, 'The Buddy Bench'.

"Hallelujah finally something that can help me and can help others so they don't feel the same way I did," said Fiona.

'The Buddy Bench', a no bully zone is a place for students to feel safe and find friendships.

On Friday morning Mary Jane Riva the CEO of pizza factory unveiled it.

"Pizza factory has a mission of trying to make sure kids are aware of the problem," said Riva.

She tries to provide a buddy bench to every school, which has a pizza factory restaurant in town.

"(We're) trying to bring awareness to the kids to think about their words-- to think about how they can reach out to somebody that either being bullied or just doesn't have a friend," said Riva.

CRISTINA DAVIES: After students were presented the buddy bench they learned different ways they can actually use it, so Fiona tell me what did you learned?

FIONA: You can ask them what their favorite color was, what their name was, how they needed the buddy bench and what you can do to help them.

Students were already using it-making friends.

Fiona wants others to know if you're being bullied you are not alone and she has this message for people who do bully.

"You should stop because it's not nice," said Fiona.

Remember friends are awesome.
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