Best Buddies High Schools works to match students with intellectual disabilities with high school students from general education to create one-to-one friendships. In today’s high schools; students with intellectual disabilities often enter the same building and walk the same hallways as their peers, but they are left out of social activities. By introducing Best Buddies into public and private high schools, we are crossing the invisible line that too often separates those with disabilities from those without.
An Opportunity for Enrichment
The vision behind the Best Buddies High Schools program is to maximize social opportunities for high school students in mainstream and special education classes by matching them in one-to-one friendships. The goal is to establish foundations for genuine friendships, thus enriching the lives of both participants.
An Opportunity for Socialization
A significant part of the high school experience is developing social relationships with peers. Individuals in special education classes are often socially isolated from mainstream students and benefit from positive peer relationships in the following ways: higher self-esteem, greater self-confidence, and stronger communication skills.
An Opportunity for Awareness
High school students (Peer Buddies) who commit to being paired in one-to-one friendships with students in special education classes (Buddies) can gain the following: a heightened awareness of issues students with intellectual disabilities experience; an opportunity to see behind the labels society often places on individuals with disabilities; and the ability to make a difference in someone else’s life and their own. Buddy Pairs model acceptance and support for people with intellectual disabilities in both their school and surrounding community.
The membership application for Best Buddies can be found at Best Buddies Online.
For more information, please contact Garry Johnson.
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