After participating in Peer Buddies for four years and helping found the Best Buddies chapter at Woodland Regional High School, senior Emma Sardinskas is hoping to share her love for these two programs with students at Community School in Prospect.
As her senior project, Sardinskas is working with students with and without disabilities at an elementary level hoping to establish friendships between the two. The program will resemble the Best Buddies program at Woodland.
Sardinskas’ involvement with Peer Buddies drove her to help establish Woodland’s Best Buddies program. Sardinskas is currently a co-President of the Best Buddies chapter at Woodland.
“I fell in love with the program and what it offers to students with disabilities and students without disabilities,” said Sardinskas.
And George Myers, Best Buddies advisor, recognizes Sardinskas’ role in the program.
“Emma was with us from the beginning in formulating and putting together the program,” said Myers.
He also explains describes her interaction with the students as “phenomenal”.
And Sardinskas is using her talent for working with these students to make a difference at a younger level. She hopes that this program will help to establish friendships at a younger level so they can carry over to middle school and through high school.
Sardinskas is working with two teachers to coordinate meetings with students at Community. These two teachers, Mrs. Hart and Mrs. Carpenter, have selected students from their classes to participate. As of now, ten students are currently acting as Peer Buddies to work with the approximately seven students with disabilities.
“The place where you really start to form friendships is elementary school,” said Sardinskas.
She has visited Community once already and had a great experience.
“It was amazing and the students really want to be involved and seem so excited to start,” said Sardinskas.
Sardinskas hopes to continue developing these friendships and plans to visit the elementary school a few times a month.