Taylorsviile Buddies bridges relationships


Xylina Session, Editor-n-Chief

The Taylorsville Buddies club, often referred to as the Best Buddies’ Club is a program devoted to establishing one-to-one friendships between persons with intellectual disabilities and regular education peers. Allen Pulley, the self-contained special education teacher explains the fundamentals of the program, “It’s kind of the idea of forming friendships with our students and regular ed students. . .”  he said. “[It’s] for them to see and have other people in the halls that they can interact with and know their names and that type of thing.”

Hosting several monthly after-school activities, as well as major events for members, the Buddies’ program extracurriculars include obstacle courses, movie nights, decorating a Warrior Woods tree, singing with the Madrigals, as well as joining the LIA and Poly clubs for other activities. A highlighting event for the program is the mini-prom held in the spring. Fundraising throughout the year provide food and DJ expenses.

A candy sale conducted during November is just one of the many fundraisers for the event. At $1 each, every purchase of a candy also included a ticket which was placed in a drawing to win a homemade quilt constructed from Taylorsville-themed hoodies. Other fundraiser opportunities included silent auctions for Jet Blue tickets, as well as basket giveaways.

Students may have seen the Best Buddies selling root beer floats or hot chocolates during lunch. Excitement for the program shines as throughout the year more and more chances to be involved is acquired. Mary Garlitz, a sophomore in the program shares that among helping her little brother and playing basketball, she loves “getting to know everyone” in the program. “[I like] that we can do activities as a group, my favorite activity was watching Hotel Transylvania,” she said, a smile finding its way on her face.

“It’s just a great program because it really gives our kids a chance to interact with the regular ed peers and it is good for the regular ed peers,” said Pulley. “It gives them a chance to see that our kids really aren’t that much different in the way of knowing what they like and what they want in life. They just have the challenge of overcoming their disabilities. So it’s just a really good program.”