Bernice Mathews Buddy Program

For over 20 years, our grade 8 students have served as mentors to first grade students at Bernice Mathews Elementary School as part of our Buddy Program. 

Students go to educational yet fun areas, such as the Discovery Museum, and each other’s schools. The kids all learned a lot without realizing there were actually learning as well as having fun. They all seemed to have had the times of their lives, especially at the Discovery Museum. Mae King said “The events at the museum were fun and engaging for my buddy and me. She had the opportunity to learn and create in different centers and especially loved climbing the cloud tower.” This shows how the kids learned and had fun throughout the time they’ve been with their buddies. The most favorited trip was going to the Discovery Museum because the kids not only learned a lot but had the most fun playing in the water and climbing throughout the clouds. 

The buddy trips were very educational. We learned a lot about how to talk to and handle little kids. Not only did we learn new skills but we gained a friend. Altogether it was a great experience.

Derin Tosun (‘23)

Many of our grade 8 students feel like they grew as caretakers during the program. They used skills remembered from when they were kids and used those memories to take care of and play with their buddies. Many of the grade 1 kids felt like they finally had an older sibling or at least another person who cared for them, which is important to have for even the most fortunate kids. “I have also learned about first-grade kids with what they like to do, watch, play,” said Sophie Powers. The younger kids felt like they had someone there for them, but so did the eighth graders. 

These buddy trips have always been like a breath of fresh air for Sage Ridge students. They have fun with their buddies without the pressure of their daily lives. The trips have gotten all of the kids out of their comfort zones with talking to different ages of people and having to communicate for the activities they did.

My greatest accomplishment with my buddy was actually getting him to talk to me. He is very very shy and he doesn’t talk a lot and it’s been a bit of a struggle every time we meet up. When we were at the museum he seemed to have come out of his shell and he was talking and making jokes with me and we had a lot of fun together!

Madison Lane

Students at a Buddy Event

Buddy trips like these help kids get out of their comfort zone and learn skills with taking care of younger kids. Our students learned a lot of social and intellectual skills. They not only had fun but also learned a lot about socializing with people of different ages and care-taking. They bonded with their buddies and it was all-around heartwarming to see the kids getting along so well with each other. 

Written by Zoe Dixon and Mia Wohletz.

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