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Best Buddies Match Party

On Monday, Sept. 17, Best Buddies hosted their annual Match Party. The Match Party takes place during STaR and offers peer buddies the chance to meet their buddy for the year to get to know each other.

Peer Buddy Reily McGee '20 talks with Best Buddy Luke at Match Party on Monday.

Each peer buddy goes through a selection process to evaluate if they would be a good fit for one of the students. “For the peer selection, we obviously have so many people that come and want to be peers, but there’s only so many students to pair with, so we go through interviews, and we ask different questions about why do you want to be in Best Buddies, how do you see yourself fulfilling the commitment, what will you do with your buddy if you are selected," president of Best Buddies, Mads Jackson '20 said. "We have different types of buddies, so we look at if someone would prefer an in-school or out-of-school buddy, high functioning or low functioning. It’s a bit of a process. Then we talk as a board and decide who would work best with who.”

Jared Grondin '20 strikes a pose for the camera during Monday's Match Party.

Best Buddies is a club that offers students a chance to closely engage with students who have intellectual or physical disabilities. Participating in Best Buddies presents students with unique benefits, according to Teacher Kellie May, who co-sponsors the club. “I think that [Best Buddies] is positive for my students because I feel that they get an opportunity to gain some new friendships. And I think it’s as big or more of a benefit for the typical peers because I feel that it gives them a chance to come in and see that our kids, these students in here, are just like everybody else," May said. "They like movies, they like food, they like going bowling, they like all the same activities. I think it just changes the peers' perspectives a little bit and gives them a little bit more understanding and a little more appreciation that we’re all pretty much the same.”

Sidney May '21 compares muscles with Allen Schwedler '19.

Best Buddies hosts several events throughout the year to give buddies a chance to meet up outside of school. Jackson and the other board members spend time mapping out and planning those events. “I’m really hopeful this year. I think we’ve got an awesome team working as a board and we’ve already planned a lot [of events] for this year, so I think we’re looking good," Jackson said.

Logan Stephens '21 inspects a picture on Mrs. Lutz's phone.
Anika Vinard '22 and buddy Aaron Tugan '22 play on Tugan's iPad.
Allie Hall '20 talks with new buddy Rosie Stafford '22.
Molly Nugent '21 gets to know buddy Braedon Grube '21.
Adell Pursell '20 holds Best Buddies sign for a picture with peer buddy Sydney Vaught '21.

Credits:

Claire Conder and Lindsey Shaffer 

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