Building trusting connections across age groups is important for a thriving community. Buddies is one way we nurture these mixed aged friendships. All students have one or two designated Buddies from another home room group; students in grades 5 through 8 are the older Buddies to students in grades K through 4 and begin the year by getting to know each other through a variety of activities. As the year progresses, Buddies partner in field day teams, attend All School Meetings together, check out each other's school projects and host a breakfast for their parents. Through these friendships the older students gain perspective on the what is important to the younger students and get to relive some of their fond childhood memories and the younger students gain a big brother or sister to help show them the way.
The Buddy Program was suggested by a fifth grade student, nearly a decade ago, and each year proves to be an important way in which we define ourselves as a community.