Nobleboro Central School has a longstanding tradition known as “buddies,” where students from the middle school wing partner with students from grades K-2 on a weekly basis.
Sometimes the older students help younger students with writing or other schoolwork, while other times the buddies complete hands-on activities or play together.
This year students from eighth grade are partnered with kindergarten buddies while students from seventh grade are partnered with first grade buddies. Grade eight students recently took a trip to Beth’s Farm Market to help their kindergarten buddies navigate the corn maze. Grade seven students have been helping their first grade buddies write personal narrative stories over the last several weeks.
Seventh graders recently reflected on their experiences thus far with the buddies program. While sometimes the experience can be a little challenging for the older students, it also helps solidify the school community and provides benefits for both the younger and older students.
One student noted that, “Buddies builds friendship with younger grades that we don’t see often,” while another added, “I think that buddies is good for the school because it joins the wings together.”
Another seventh grader summed up this relationship-building between the wings well.
“I have really enjoyed buddies so far,” the student said. “Though it’s difficult to keep both myself and my buddy on task, it’s very nice to talk and laugh with him. Without doing buddies, I doubt any of the middle schoolers would ever even talk to the younger kids. Buddies allows us older kids to interact with more of the school than just the junior high wing.”
The buddies experience also does more than just bring different wings together, and many seventh graders commented on the social and academic benefits they gain from this experience.