Best Buddies Club looks to build new friendships

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Photo courtesy Ethan Fayne

Best Buddies members work together on fun activities.

Best Buddies is a club stemmed from an international non-profit that focuses on allowing students to make one-on-one friendships with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities through doing different activities at this school.

The main goal of Best Buddies is to make everyone feel included and to help people develop new friendships that they might not typically make. Senior Co-president Ethan Fayne said, “Best Buddies thrives on the inclusivity of all people and helps create friendships and bonds that last forever. The mission is to create an inclusive environment for everyone and friendships.”

A Best Buddies club member can either join as a peer or an associate buddy. Peer buddies have one-on-one friendships with a member with an intellectual disability. Associate buddies come to the meetings to hang out with the club and participate in the activities. “Peer buddies are able to create a strong bond with their buddy through different club-wide events. Associate buddies help with all of the different buddies and not just one specific student,” Fayne said. 

Each meeting we do something fun like tie-dye, dancing, singing or basketball.”

— Josie Starr

Their meetings include doing different activities with the buddies. It gives everyone the opportunity to interact and get to know one another while participating in engaging projects. Every meeting has new things planned. Junior co-president Josie Starr said, “Each meeting we do something fun like tie-dye, dancing, singing or basketball.”

Best Buddies is all based on inclusivity. The club wants to help establish new friendships and give students a new place to learn, grow and have fun. Club sponsor Lisa Young said, “I think it’s so important for all students in our school to have opportunities to feel included. My favorite part about Best Buddies is having students come in and out of our rooms to say hi and interact with our students.”

There are different ways to find out more information on how to get involved with Best Buddies. You can check their Instagram and Facebook or visit Young in room 174 to ask questions. All grade levels are welcome to join the club no matter how much experience the member has.  

Best Buddies encourages all students to continue to join. The club accepts everyone and provides a social experience not found within other clubs at this school. Young said, “Come join our meetings. We love seeing new faces in our hallway and we love how the students light up when they establish friendships with all students.”

The Best Buddies program is based on that things can be learned from joining the club and interacting with new people who might think differently. Junior club member Dani London said, “Best buddies has taught me the importance of inclusion and peer support.”

Best Buddies is an active club that allows students to gain new experiences in a safe and a healthy learning environment. “You will 100% make new friends and create strong bonds with people who you might not have ever thought you would have before,” Fayne said.