Best Buddies is an international non-profit organization that seeks to eliminate the social, physical and economic isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Best Buddies works with the school community by providing inclusive opportunities for friendship and leadership.
We started our middle school chapter in September 2017 and in June 2019 were selected as the Best Buddies Outstanding Middle School Chapter for MA/RI. Our chapter provides students with opportunities to have fun and make friends, strengthen social awareness and social skills, develop leadership skills, and connect with community supports. We teach lessons on diversity, community, inclusion, communication skills, kindness, friendship, teamwork, problem-solving, and positive boundaries. Best Buddies is composed of students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. Meaningful, mutual friendships are formed between all members.
As a Friendship Chapter, members can get involved in two ways. They can participate in a buddy pair which is a one to one friendship between a person with an IDD and a person without an IDD. They can also participate as an associate member which is someone who is not matched in a one to one friendship but still attends meetings and family events. We love and welcome both types of members!
During the 2019-2020 school year, we held many family events including: going to the Discovery Museum, apple picking, bowling, having potluck dinner, attending a play, and ice skating. We also created a Friendship Rock Garden at the entrance of our school, created an Inclusion Pledge video, and collected donations for the humane society.
There are many leadership opportunities for members including the following positions: President, Buddy Director, Public Relations Officer, Secretary, Kindness Coordinator and Kindness Committee. To be considered for a leadership position, members must demonstrate kind and inclusive behavior and attend all meetings.
If you’d like to join Best Buddies, complete a membership application online:
go to bestbuddiesonline.org
click membership application
click middle school
click new member
select the current program year
complete the form online