Bernice Vossbeck Elementary students are making plenty of new connections this year thanks to the brand-new BVE Buddies program.
Third-year BVE teacher Katelynn Fraser launched the program in October, a chance to link students in the special education program with those in general education so they could “come together and learn from one another, modeling behavior, how to play with each other and what all kinds of learning looks like.”
“The kids have a blast,” Fraser says. “They look forward to it every day.”
The BVE Buddies program pairs up third through fifth grade general education students with kindergarten students in the special education program. Teachers for the older kids can use the opportunity as an incentive for the students, while the younger students get excited about what they see as a special time out of their day, even if it is always structured with teachers and learning opportunities.
The program includes everything from playing together at recess to walking to the bus. And Fraser rotates general education classes each week so that by the end of the year, all the special education students have an ever-growing batch of “friends in school who accept them and love them for who they are.”