One of our favorite Student Life programs at SSPP is our Buddies Program. Though it is currently scaled back due pandemic restrictions, the ideals of the program speak to the heart of the matter: creating connections … and friends … that last a lifetime.
In the Buddies Program, students are paired together in the following manner:
Pre-K and Grade 7; Kindergarten and Grade 8; Grade 1 and Grade 4; Grade 2 and Grade 5; Grade 3 and Grade 6.
Why a Buddies Program?
Children can learn in so many ways beyond the classroom, and communities are not built solely by faculty and staff. Children can learn from each other, and they play an integral role in forming a strong, lasting school community. Kids learn to care for each other, and grow with each other, despite age differences.
- Growing in spirituality
- Grades 7 and 8 attend mass with their Pre-K and Kindergarten buddies and help to guide them through the parts of the Mass. At Communion time, the older students walk their little buddies up for a blessing.
- During the Lenten season, all buddies participate together in Stations of the Cross presentations. Each buddy group takes a turn as presenters for the rest of the school community.
- Strengthening academic and social skills
- The buddy groups work on activities together such as writing letters to Santa, celebrating Thanksgiving dinner, and sometimes even eat lunch together.
- Buddy groups work on fun activities in the classroom to develop critical thinking skills.
- Older students read stories to their younger buddies, creating important bonds.
- Adding to our STREAM Program
- Older students have created games for the younger students to play that help to strengthen their core subject areas and/or their spirituality.
- Involving students in community service projects
- Buddy grades have participated in wrapping Christmas gifts that they have donated to families through the SSPP Parish Outreach Program.
- Buddy grades have baked bread together to feed the poor.
- Buddy grades have packed small care packages for local missions.
- Developing well rounded young adults
- Older student learn responsibility in the care of their younger buddies.
- Older students develop virtues such as patience and selflessness.
- Older students strengthen their abilities in being a role model for others.
- Older students act as an extra support system for younger students.
- Younger buddies gain confidence when they see and interact with older buddies throughout the school.
- Younger buddies love to hear their big buddies cheering them on during activities throughout the year, such as during Catholic Schools Week games.
- Grade 7 buddies attend the Pre-K graduation ceremony, and the Grade 8 students attend the Kindergarten graduation ceremony. They offer congratulations to their buddies, present little gifts to them, and are often invited by younger buddies’ families to stay for pictures with family members.