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Students in a holiday-themed photo booth
Howard L. Goff Middle School held the first meeting of its Best Buddies club last Thursday after school. The students made crafts, decorated holiday cookies, ate snacks and watched the movie “Frosty the Snowman.”

Best Buddies fosters one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities, offering social interactions while improving quality of life and the level of inclusion.

Goff’s chapter was developed by School Social Worker Anjelica Krouse and Special Education Teachers Nancy Garcia and Kristen Zilgme who thought Best Buddies would benefit the Goff school community. Best Buddies gives all students the opportunity to be included in a variety of ways. This club allows for students to come together to make new friendships while appreciating and accepting their differences. The point of the chapter is for all members to make connections and to create a more accepting and inclusive environment at Goff.

Goff Best Buddies has 10 pairs of students in the club with another 20 students serving as associate members who help out with activities. The club is planning regular meetings and special events for the remainder of the school year.

“It was exciting to watch the kids come together and interact with one another at our first chapter event,” said Ms. Krouse. “We look forward to many more events in the future.”