Best Buddies is a Canada-wide program that pairs up the same-aged students of differing abilities. These partnerships grow into friendships and are mutually beneficial. On Thursday, February 11, an assembly at the school demonstrated the strength and depth of those relationships.
Executive Director of Best Buddies Canada, Steven Pinnock was there to honour Weston Collegiate Institute‘s successful implementation of the program over the past six years. Program buddies are paired for each school year and contact each other weekly and meet socially at least twice a month. Larger meetings of the whole chapter are held to discuss issues and to plan events.
W.C.I. was also honoured for being in the top 25 programs out of 450 chapters nationwide in Canada. Youth worker, Nancy Marshall co-ordinates Best Buddies at the school and thanked the many members of staff who lend their time to supporting the program as well as events and field trips. Pinnock thanked Ms. Marshall for her leadership and the staff for their hard work in making the program run so successfully at the school. Best Buddies Special Events Director, Emily Bolyea–Kyere spoke glowingly about the outstanding work done at W.C.I. and how well the school is regarded throughout the organization.
Students spoke movingly about the program and the impact it has made on their school lives; many calling the friends made through the program as close as family members. Having sat through many an assembly in a former life, I can attest to rarely being as impressed (and moved) as I was today. Well done to Ms. Marshall and participating staff and students at W.C.I.