Look Out for Best Buddies: by Ayah Elrayah

Best Buddies promotes friendship between people with and without disabilities. The program is student led with a chapter president and officers. They make decisions about what the club should look like, group activities, fundraisers, and other events. The program is divided into middle school, high school, college, and citizen groups. The work done by the Best Buddies groups allows people with IDDs (intellectual and developmental disabilities) to feel included and interact with those around them. It is especially important in middle and high school, where most emotional brain development happens. Best Buddies not only helps people with IDDs, but also individuals who want to be more sociable and make more friends.

Best Buddies’ goal is to be “a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities” as stated on their website. Its goal is to allow people with IDDs to have as many opportunities as people without them. This includes securing jobs, making friends, and improving communication skills.

Mrs. Nelson and Mrs. Menswar are advising the branch of Best Buddies at Memorial and had the following to say about the program:

“We will have monthly activities for all members [which] may include playing board games, hanging out, having holiday parties, bowling, going to sporting events at the school together, etc… Best Buddies helps provide social opportunities for students with disabilities that may not always happen naturally in high school. It helps students without disabilities to gain a better understanding about people disabilities and to hopefully create lifelong friendships!”

If any students are interested in joining the new Best Buddies program at Memorial they can speak to either advisor or go to room 501.

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