The buddy program is one more example of how we live our mission: We learn not for school, but for life. Building relationships with new children each year contributes to the social and emotional well-being of each member of our Powhatan community, and we feel strongly that this is an essential part of all children’s education.
“As a parent, I get the opportunity to see the buddy program through my own child’s eyes. Her face alights when her path crosses her buddy’s on campus.” ~ Mrs. Nichols
The purpose of the buddy program is to build mentorship and friendship between different aged students. Through buddies, community and comradery develops. Students cheer for their buddies when they endeavor to try something new, they encourage one another when they perform in plays, and they support each other in various activities across campus.
“Throughout the year, buddy lunches become a time for sharing, encouragement, or question and answer sessions,” says Mrs. Nichols, a fifth grade teacher. “For older students, being a buddy means you are a role model, a leader, and a cheerleader. For younger students, having a buddy means that you have a friend who is older-one to ask questions of, to talk to, to recognize during whole-school events. It has a very Montessori feel to it.”
Mrs. Nichols’ daughter is a ‘little buddy’ who is matched up with a fifth grader. “As a parent, I get the opportunity to see the buddy program through my own child’s eyes. Her face alights when her path crosses her buddy’s on campus. She plays with her buddy at recess when able. Even more than that, her buddy friendship has provided a special level of comfort with others at school. She sees all the “big kids” on campus as her friends. She knows she can get help if she needs it; there is a sense of togetherness for all students that is present and nurtured by the buddy program at Powhatan; as a mom I feel thankful that my child gets to experience this in her school.”
Fifth grade is matched up with Kindergarten and Pre-K for Buddy Programs. In this next video, Mrs. Kesler, also a fifth grade teacher, walks you through two recent Buddy activities as fifth grade teamed up with their Pre-K buddies just before Winter Break.
Buddies have additional opportunities to work together and complete special projects throughout the year. During Earth Week in the spring of 2015, buddies joined together to plant trees on the Crocker Conservancy. The previous year, buddies made reusable lunch sacks. This fall, Kindergarten buddies visited at Thanksgiving time to perform Thanksgiving carols.