Best Buddies Program Thrives at Walpole High

Danielle Levya

The best buddies logo.

Walpole High School’s Best Buddies program started several years ago and has only grown since. The club consists of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities that are paired in one- to- one friendship with high school students. The goal of the buddies’ pairs is to establish socialization groups which can result to long lasting friendships.

Best Buddies has formed long lasting relationships between the students.  There are no worries when a class graduates because there are always more students joining the club the following year. The first meeting this year was September 15; 30 peer buddies and 14 buddies showed up to join this year. Students hear from other students about the club. Joanna Garry, a member of Best Buddies, said “I joined because I heard great things about it from the girls on my cross country team and they said it was a good club, where you can make new friends”.

After school, meetings will be once a month. The meetings will have different themes and activities.  For October there will be a Halloween meeting, which will consist of costumes and painting pumpkins. Allie Iannoni, member of Best Buddies, said “I am going to be a dog” as she was saying how excited she was for the Halloween meeting. In December best buddies plans on having a Christmas theme and making ginger bread cookies. Friday night activities will also take place once a month. Ms. Ryan Connors plans on the best buddies attending a Friday night football game. Best Buddies plan on going bowling and having a movie night together as well. Each year best buddies have their own dance in May at the Italian American Club. Bridget Nicholson, a member of Best Buddies, said “I enjoy spending time with my best buddy and participating in all the different activities”. “I expect them to respect best buddies and participate in the activities, form positive friendships in school and out of school” said Ms. Connors, that she expects of the best buddies.