Understanding the Best Buddies Programme
What is Best Buddies all about ?
“Best Buddies envisions a world where people with intellectual disabilities are so successfully integrated into our schools, our workplaces and our general communities that our current efforts and services will be unnecessary. Until that vision becomes a reality, our mission is to educate middle school, high school and college students, community citizens, corporations and employers about the emotional, functional and natural needs and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities “
The Best Buddies programme was initiated in The Millennium School, Dubai in the year 2007. The programme started with a total of 18 buddy pairs between TMS and Rashid Paediatric Therapy Center. Since then the buddy pairs have only increased between students of The Millennium School and RPTC, Manzil Center for Challenged Individuals and SAATHI.
29th September, 2010 saw the dawn of a new era at The Millennium School, Dubai.The much-awaited Inclusion Programme commenced on this day and since then every Wednesday 40 pupils and 15 teachers from Manzil spend the entire day in the school.
The “Partial Integration Programme” offers Challenged Individuals the opportunity to attend classes with regular students in their classroom and the focus is on development of social skills.The other pupils participate in various activities such as art, music, dance, swimming, basketball etc.The students, as well as their teachers, get the chance to experience mainstream school-life as they participate in the various activities scheduled for the day. From the content expressions and happy reactions of the Manzil participants, The Millennium School can truly be proud of this initiative to make inclusion a reality.
Going beyond the format of Best Buddies and experiencing the Motto of the school “We choose to Care” is evident from the various activities pupils of the school get an opportunity to participate in. From volunteering for various programmes of Manzil Center for Challenged Individuals to organizing charity drives to integrating special needs pupils in their school and daily lives, come to pass through BEST BUDDIES!!!
The Best Buddies programme is something that everyone in the school is emotional and sensitive about. It has always been an OUTSTANDING feature of the school at all KHDA Inspections through the years. Spearheaded under the leadership of the Principal, Mr. Michael Guzder, his foresight and encouragement has got it the much deserved appreciation from the school community and parents of many pupils.