Club helps special needs students have a greater experience

Courtesy of Best Buddies Club

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You have already finished all of your homework, eaten all of your food, and gone to necessary tutorials, but there is one thing on your mind that is itching you. That thought finally bounces, and you realized that you are not in any clubs! Feeling desperation and anxiety, you ask your friends to give you advice but that does not help either. Luckily you paid attention to the announcements in the morning and a few clubs pop into mind. What is Best Buddies?

Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization, consists of volunteers that create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This club is an international association that brings the good into all types of students in the school environment.

The difference between Best Buddies club and many other clubs is that they first handedly volunteer and help other fellow classmates, specifically the special needs students. It is great for a school to provide an educational future for the for all who attend, but the fact that there was a big club supporting special needs was just another level of excellency.

A Buddy was one of the respected students that have special needs, but this club shows that there is no obstacle in succeeding in life. Best Buddies has become a very prominent club for all grades. The volunteers and leaders have events to help make everyone’s experience better. In addition, volunteer opportunities are available everyday at lunch in the designated rooms. In order to make the Buddy’s school experience better, club members play cards and board games, chat, and eat lunch. Not only do the members gain service hours and community service, but they also get an opportunity to build a strong, lasting relationship.

One of the most important aspects of this club was to understand that kids that have different abilities still should be considered same and equal in the school environment. This club not only influences the respect but also teaches the correct ways to interact with other people, especially making others feel happy.

Junior Sonali Ramchandani was the historian for the Best Buddies club. She has committed to the service projects and meeting for three years ever since she was a freshman. Ramchandani believed that this club is an essential for a school with a special needs program to have.

“If Best Buddies wasn’t a club then no one would know that we actually have such amazing kids in our special-ed program that are just like the rest of us,” Ramchandani said. “Because they are so funny and everything, if you just like sit down and talk, they are like any other friend that I have and it is just so much fun.”

Members feel that the purpose for the Best Buddies club has definitely impacted the school environment in a very strong, positive way that would otherwise not happen if this club did not exist.

“The Best Buddies mission statement is to help our special needs kids that go to Bellaire to have a regular or normal experience at Bellaire. And like to have that you need to have friends and go out and everything. So best buddies peers up club member to the buddies,” Ramchandani said. “We have like friends that come in every single day. Because if you have no friends in school, it will be horrible. So like there’s that and it is totally positively affecting Bellaire cause like I help them feel like normal kids because they are.”

With heavy work loads and long nights, high school pushed students to have a rigorous schedule, therefore, a club like Best Buddies can serve as another purpose for club volunteers and members. With games and social chats, this club provided great times and memories for all participants like sophomore Cate Urbani, the event coordinator.

“It creates a lot of great friendships. We play games like puzzles, seasonal crafts and a game night which was a lot of fun,” said Urbani. “The staff and members had a lot of fun together. The whole environment and member are just really connected.”

The distinction of Best Buddies cannot be topped by any other club. The amount of respect for the club was recognized by everyone. Ultimately, the organization has changed the school environment with very positive vibes.

 

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