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Faculty Advisor: Alison Watt
Other Faculty Assistants: Jeff Ogden, Mary Holden, Rachael Potts, Scott Mead, Jeannie Ellis, Elizabeth King, Doug McDermet, Michael Woods
Harwood Best Buddies is a student-led volunteer club that pairs students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in one-to-one friendships with students without disabilities. Social experiences and relationships are a part of life, and are critical in helping teens form a sense of self. Unfortunately, individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities have historically been excluded from many of the social opportunities that most people enjoy. By joining Harwood’s Best Buddies chapter, students can befriend someone different from themselves, learn about themselves in the process, help to make the entire Harwood community more inclusive and accepting, and gain invaluable leadership experience.
The leadership team meets regularly to plan events that celebrate friendship and acceptance. Each October, members of the Harwood Best Buddies club gather for the annual Match Party, at which friendship pairs are announced for the year. The Common Ground Cafe comes alive with vibrant seasonal decorations, music, food, and the warmth of friendship and shared experience. Buddy pairs continue to build their friendship through weekly communication and monthly shared activities. Together, they hang out, chat, listen to music, hike, bike, ski, go to movies, attend school events, go shopping, cook, and more. Collectively, members of the Harwood Best Buddies club work together to change our school climate, and the world, one friendship at a time!