Best Buddies makes students understand the true meaning of kindness. Not until joining the club or class will students understand it’s true meaning. The program teaches the average student to always treat people with kindness, no matter their differences.
Brooke Iannone, the president of Best Buddies, wants to show Woodland that everyone deserves to be treated equally. Working with students who have Intellectual and Developmental Disorders (IDD) has been eye-opening to her.
“The normal things that we think are easy might be hard for them,” Iannone said. The students who are in Buddies, both class and club, try their best to help others and give students with IDD a better life. “They do the same activities as us,” Iannone said, “ [like going] to football games.”
Iannone’s favorite part of being a member of Best Buddies is seeing the buddies so happy when they attend school events. This taught her that “everybody is the same, even though they need extra help.”
This year, she wants to recruit new members that continue participating in the club until they graduate.
Being around students with IDD will also stop the common usage of the r-word as a casual insult. “Kids use it without knowing what it really means,” Iannone said.
The Pledge to End the R-Word is a close campaign to Best Buddies. Woodland has pledged but students still continue to say the word casually. Students who join Best Buddies understand the importance of not using the R-Word and try their best to encourage others not to say it. Students in Buddies know that using the r-word will hurt people, intentionally or not, so they strive to teach others to be aware of how their words impact others.