Buddy Program

Students with disabilities and their general education peers are paired together and meet at least once a month for activities that encourage inclusion, acceptance and normalizing differences. Buddy Program directors work with teachers in planning skills-based activities that create genuine connection. Activities have included: breakfast and bingo, kitchen and cooking skills, crafts for sensory play and fine-motor development, holiday celebrations, buddy bracelets, Buddy Olympics, and even field trips such as bowling. Our goal is to create authentic learning experiences that help both special education and general education students learn and grow together and truly see each other as friends. Students demonstrate adaptability, resilience and leadership as Sammy’s Buddy Program uses creative ways to help them connect and grow.

These memorable activities allowed students who had not interacted at school before this program to authentically engage with one another, support each other, and learn about what makes each of them unique. In doing, the program led to authentic peer connections that created a stronger classroom and school community and inclusive mindset among students and teachers.
Noelle Converse, PhD
The friendships that were made between my special education students and their general education peers went beyond the classroom and onto the playground, as well as outside of the school environment.
Erica Villareal
Special Education Teacher