What is Best Buddies?
 
· Best Buddies match students who have disabilities with students who do not have disabilities in buddy pairs. Students meet on Wednesdays and Fridays during Activity period with their buddy in school.
· Students also have lunch with their buddies on Thursdays.
· We currently have 23 buddies and peer buddies in the Joyce Best Buddies program as well as 12 associate buddies for a total of 58 students.
· 6 teachers and 8 paraprofessionals are involved in the Best Buddies program at the Joyce.
· In high school, Best Buddies are encouraged to get together on their own outside of school.
· The ultimate goal of our middle school Best Buddies program is to help students get acquainted with their buddies, form strong friendships and hopefully begin to meet and talk outside of school. It is a good transition for them as they go on to high school.

Did You Know?

· Best Buddies was started in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver when he was in college.
· There are over 1,400 chapters of Best Buddies in middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world.
· We are lucky to have been chosen as an official middle school chapter so quickly, mostly due to the success of the Woburn High School Best Buddies program.
· The Massachusetts Middle School Best Buddies’ director is Tina Hayes.

Service

· Students involved in Best Buddies will receive the YES award for their service when they are in the eighth grade.
· Best Buddies also completes the service requirement for the National Junior Honor Society.
· In addition to the time spent with their buddies, Best Buddies, as a group, completes a minimum of two community service projects each year.
 
Leadership

· Best Buddies offers students an opportunity for leadership roles.
· Our Best Buddies program has a student chapter President, and two student Buddy directors, along with grade 6, 7 and 8 student representatives
· These officers meet monthly to help plan activities, as well as keep track of buddy pairs and submit paper work to the Best Buddies middle school director.
 
“ I See You”
Our Best Buddies bracelets say, “I See You”, a Central African saying which means you recognize another as a person, as an equal, as a fellow human being, and as a friend. We do.

If you would like more information about the Joyce Middle School Best Buddies, contact Joanne Young jyoung@woburnpublicschools.com or go to www.joycemiddleschool.org and click on the Best Buddies link. If you would like more information about the Best Buddies organization, check out their website at www.bestbuddies.org .