North Hills’ Newest Club: Best Buddies

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Jess Porter, Copy Editor

Joining a club at North Hills is not only something that looks impressive on college applications, but it is a way for you to grow as a person, and make a difference in the lives of others. This year, North Hills’ newest club, Best Buddies, gives students the chance to establish friendships with students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. I interviewed the founder of the club, Mr. Sabo, for more information on how the club started and his goals for the future.

 Q. What inspired you to create this club?

A. I started this club at North Hills because I wanted to see students with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the opportunity to develop friendships outside of their own special education classroom. I also wanted our peer buddies to develop personal leadership skills, become an active role model at school, and be a part of a program that will start to breakdown some of the stereotypes that exist in schools today with regards to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Q. What other activities do you have planned for the rest of this year?

A. At this time we are not sure what we will be doing the next few months. I have provided all the activities that we completed so far.

October 2013 – On Tuesday, October 29, 2013, students had the opportunity to meet their buddies through an icebreaker activity. They also had breakfast together sponsored by Mr. Kreider

November 2013 – On Tuesday, November 19, 2013, students participated in a service project. Students made placemats for a homeless shelter for their Thanksgiving dinner.

December 2013 – On Thursday, December 19, 2013, students had an ice-cream social and received Christmas cards from their buddies.

December 2013 (Peer Buddy Activity) – All peer buddies took part in a field trip to Highcliff Elementary to assist students in Mrs. Carmody’s life skills classroom. We participated in the following activities;

1. Cooking – Decorating Cookies and Donut Snowman

2. Reading – If You Take a Mouse to the Movies and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

3. Craft – Roll a Snowman and Tissue Paper Trees

4. Sensory Area – Cinnamon Ornaments and Sparkly Peppermint Play Dough

January 2014 – On Friday, January 31, 2014, students played ball tag with their buddies.

February 2014 – On Friday, February 14, 2014, students participate in a Valentine’s Day activity. Students played bingo and received snacks.

March 2014 – On Monday, March 17, 2014 students had the opportunity to decorate Shamrock shaped cookies with their buddies. Eat-N-Park donated all the cookies and icing.

Q. What are your future goals for this club?

A. Our ultimate goal is to pair students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in one to one friendships with students. In the past these students had a tough time having friends outside of their own special education classroom. With Best Buddies here at North Hills, participants are crossing the invisible line that too often separates those with disabilities and those without.

Some of our future goals for this program would be to participate in more service projects, plan a few field trips each year, and to raise money for the Best Buddies Organization along with other charities.

Q. Do you plan on increasing the size of the club in future years?

A. As far as increasing the size of the club it will depend on our numbers each year. We had a significant amount of students here at North Hills who wanted to be part of this program. It was tough saying no to some students so we decided to pair each buddy with 3 peer buddies.

As a part of Best Buddies at North Hills you will truly impact the life of your buddy with your time, support, and encouragement. Not only are you volunteering your time, but you are also having fun. Most importantly, you will truly make a difference in another peer’s life.