(CBS) — A teacher in north suburban Vernon Hills has won a grant for an idea she calls “a buddy bench,” on the school playground reports WBBM’s Regine Schlesinger.

The Illinois Education Association awarded one of fifty IEA grants to kindergarten teacher Megan Wolf at Hawthorn Elementary North. She got the idea for a buddy bench from another teacher in a Facebook group.

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“It’s where kids go to sit if they’re feeling lonely or new to the school and they want someone to play with,” Wolf said. “I just thought it was a fantastic idea. I was thinking back to my own childhood and all the times that I could have used something like that when I was too afraid to go ask for a friend myself.”

The $330 grant, she says, is a small investment in an idea that could help prevent bullying later by teaching children empathy when they’re young.

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The school is involving students in designing the bench. Wolf hopes it will be installed and ready for use next spring.