Story originally published on September 28, 2016 on lakecentralnews.com
Almost 100 students filled up the cafeteria after school on Monday, Sept. 12, as Best Buddies held its first meeting of the school year.
“[Best Buddies] is about pairing neurotypical students with students with disabilities to build friendships,” Mrs. Karen Brann, West Lake, said.
Mrs. Brann has been a part of the Best Buddies program for five years. She is one of five adult Best Buddies representatives this year.
“I like how it gives my students peer relationships and models,” Mrs. Brann, West Lake, said.
Kristina Almeida (12) has been in Best Buddies since her freshman year, but this year will be her first as the president of the club.
“I like how it’s a fun environment and everyone here is friends. It’s the place to just be yourself. There is no difference between students with a disability and students without one. Everyone is equal in this environment,” said Almeida.
To start off the meeting, students spent time scattered around the cafeteria, then went to the library to watch an informative video about Best Buddies and lastly into the hallways to play games.
This is the first year Ryan Russell (10) will be a part of Best Buddies. “So far [what I like most] is meeting new people, learning about them, and making new friends,” Russell said.
The next meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 26.