On a campus that educates students from age 4 to 14, creating a sense of community is critical. We know that collaboration, working together, and building a community is not spontaneous; we are fortunate that we can spend time both in our classrooms and on our campus to create a special place for students to learn not for school, but for life. A foundational part of our community is built upon our buddy program.
The purpose of the buddy program is to build mentorship and friendship between different aged students. Through buddies, community and comradery develops. Students cheer for their buddies when they endeavor to try something new, they encourage one another when they perform in plays, and they support each other’s charities and fundraisers. As a teacher, I have the pleasure of witnessing these buddy relationships unfold during each school year.
At the beginning of each year, upper school and 5th graders write letters of introduction to their younger buddies. The letters usually include hints for the younger students to try and guess the identity of their buddy. Younger students anxiously await the letters and get excited to try and guess who their buddy will be for the year. Meanwhile, older students wonder if their buddies will know them, recognize them, and be excited when they meet. Then, one special day in October, the buddies meet for the first buddy lunch! Upper school buddies go to the classrooms of the younger students to pick them up for lunch; some groups stay in the lower school while other pairs go back to the upper school campus. During lunch, buddies talk, laugh, joke, and get to know one another. Then, they get some time to play indoors or outside. Throughout the year, buddy lunches become a time for sharing, encouragement, or question and answer sessions. For older students, being a buddy means you are a role model, a leader, and a cheerleader. For younger students, having a buddy means that you have a friend who is older-one to ask questions of, to talk to, to recognize during whole-school events. Buddy lunch (and play time afterward) allow these relationships to grow.
Buddies have additional opportunities to work together and complete special projects throughout the year. During Earth Week in the spring of 2015, buddies joined together to plant trees on the Crocker Conservancy. The previous year, buddies made reusable lunch sacks. This fall, Kindergarten buddies visited at Thanksgiving time to perform Thanksgiving carols.
Here are two recent examples of our Buddy program: https://youtu.be/gdP35sZCgog
More from Powhatan School:
Fifth Grade Writing: https://youtu.be/Psrx6idEwJ0
Fifth Grade NEAL & Science: https://youtu.be/sIlGTM2urno
Bland Farm Field Trip Science | Kindergarten: https://youtu.be/aWVP1Io9P0Y
Back to Blandy Farm Science: https://youtu.be/1zjQhUExiNE
Science Acceleration: https://youtu.be/Gvk9iDSzIOI
Science and Art | Etchings: https://youtu.be/I-kK52KajCE
Art Creativity: https://youtu.be/PDVBWSVGk_M
Guest Artist | Art: https://youtu.be/itEA73gxqig
Sixth Grade Survival Trip: https://youtu.be/wMovFHp3WTQ
Upper School Retreat: https://youtu.be/-NFGkcuNfsY
Algebra I Class | Concussion Testing and Standard Deviation: https://youtu.be/jo1Im4E_HDQ
Geometry Class | Field Day Overview: https://youtu.be/hwBJFXBDOvM
Talking MATHCOUNTS: https://youtu.be/58Y1xdgRGpQ
Geometry of Field Day: https://youtu.be/v-E_bIxBcnc
End of Year Math Projects: https://youtu.be/e6-SfwfA5DY
Camp Counselors: https://youtu.be/qJUT8LlOExI
Upper School Retreat 2015: https://youtu.be/c3AwuxICmWg
More from Mrs. Jaffe's English Class:
Sixth Grade English Class: https://youtu.be/dcOL6eGbvOw
Literature-Based Curriculum: https://youtu.be/lKJVpjAxp3M