Best Buddies Club ‘spreads the word’ in March


Livvy Boehlke

Angel Simental makes slime with his group of members during the meeting at the end of Best Buddies Week.

Best Buddies, an organization that promotes inclusion, devotes one week in March to bringing inclusion. With the help of nearly 80 students, the organization fights for an immersive culture.

From March 13 to St. Patrick’s Day, the organization assigned five school days with various themes of apparel. Co-president Lily Oberneder, junior, explained that the week was all about “represent[ing] the club and to support the mission of Best Buddies.”

The club arranged spirit days for the entire week. Some of the days were designated for certain themes that catered towards some of the components of Best Buddies. Oberneder elaborated “Crazy socks day was to support National Down Syndrome Day. [Wear] blue [day] represented the support for inclusion.”

This is one of many ways that the club attempted to show its mission of inclusion throughout the week. Co-president Nathan Moldavsky, senior, reflected “March is also known as ‘Spread the Word’ month [that] aims to spread the mission of inclusion and to encourage people to not use the ‘r-word’ [which] is definitely a part of the month [to] increase awareness.”
Along with spreading awareness of the identities that people with impairments hold in society, the club attempts to extinguish the stigma that is placed on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs).

Vice-president Tessa Kunschke, sophomore, believes the club “has changed the cultural interactions of students by people just being more inclusive and talking to people with disabilities more.”

As more and more people join the club, there is more support for people with disabilities. This has become even more evident with the growing number of members that the club has gained this school year. This has allowed “people to experience the different ways [people with disabilities] view the world in a different way and who they are,” Kunschke said.

Moldavsky said, “This is our first year doing [Best Buddies Month],” and the club is “aim[ing] to do it every year just to kind of get the whole school involved in the celebration.”