The Best Buddies Club at Cactus Canyon Junior High School, 801 W. Southern Ave, in the Apache Junction Unified School District was recently acknowledged as the Most Outstanding Middle School Chapter statewide. Life Skills Teacher Desirae Davis earned the Most Outstanding Advisor award as well.
“I was very shocked and surprised when they announced that we had won the awards,” said Ms. Davis. “I am very appreciative, too.” Starting and running the club is very time consuming, but it is all about my students and they benefit greatly from it.”
The mission of Best Buddies is, “To establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities ”
In schools, students with disabilities are often integrated into classes with their peers. Best Buddies Clubs pair students with disabilities in one-to-one friendships with middle school students who do not have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Best Buddies fosters inclusion, understanding, and self-esteem while giving students unique opportunities for leadership.
Ms. Davis started the Apache Junction High School Best Buddies Club in 2011, then, when she moved to the junior high campus two years ago, she began the middle school chapter at Cactus Canyon. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be part of this club,” said Davis. “Every student can join Best Buddies. We have many exciting events on and off campus. Some of our events include: parties, scavenger hunts, and fundraisers, Buddy Prom and the Friendship Walk.”
Visit www.BestBuddiesArizona.org for more information about Best Buddies Arizona.
The Apache Junction Independent is delivered weekly.