Calgary school children have a new helping hand on the playground that will help them break the ice with some new friends.

Alexander Ferguson School, located at 1704 26 Street S.W., has installed a new ‘buddy bench’ to help students in need of friends to find those special new playmates.

The initiative is expected to foster friendships, teach kids to be compassionate, celebrate inclusiveness, and build community.

Students in need of a playmate in the school yard simply need to take a seat at the bench, which lets other kids know they are in need of a friend.

A similar bench is also being set up at Rosscarrock School.