On Jan. 16, students and staff members from Mt. Hebron’s Best Buddies group attended a “Super Bowl” event at Bowlero in Columbia, Mayland. The group participated in a bowling event and socialized with students in the “Best Buddies” club from other county schools. The event was run to provide a fun, competitive opportunity for students enlisted in the program, as well as to provide a closing activity to a season of weekly bowling games.
Best Buddies is a club dedicated to creating opportunities and establishing a safespace for learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Programs have been launched in many schools throughout the nation, used to build one-to-one friendships between people with IDD, offering social mentoring as well as encouraging inclusion and peer collaboration and involvement. The club operates as a student-run friendship club, creating buddy pairs between students with and without IDDs.
It aims to create an inclusive school climate for students as well as a community culture of acceptance.
Best Buddies offers three sports throughout the school year for buddies and peers to participate in. These include soccer in the fall, bowling in the winter, and softball in the spring.
JP Tennant is a senior in Mt. Hebron who has been involved with the program during his time in high school.
“The ‘Super Bowl’ in Columbia was a good last event for me,” said Tennant.
“Although the place was very crowded and each student did not have a lot of time to bowl, it was a good opportunity for me to be with my friends.”
The event was split up between a few lanes to allow each student to have time to bowl.
Through their participation, people with IDD form meaningful connections with their peers, gain self-confidence and self-esteem, and share interests, experiences and activities that many other individuals enjoy. Students show a lot of positive feedback and input on events such as these, allowing the organization along with chapters of Best Buddies at several schools to continue to host them.
The Best Buddies club at Mt. Hebron has aided several students and provided them with opportunities to partake in many activities on and off campus, which has lead to the success and happiness for many students. Members of the group will now look forward to their allied softball season.