Friday, September 13, was a very special day for DCD eighth-graders and kindergarteners– Big Buddy-Little Buddy match up day! The cubby areas upstairs and downstairs were buzzing with excitement before first period when the buddies would meet for the first time.DCD’s Big Buddy Little Buddy Program is cherished by students young and old! For the bigger kids, it’s an opportunity to serve as a role model for a younger student and to learn some important lessons about putting the needs of someone else before your own. And, for many eighth-graders, the memory of being a little buddy is still palpable!
The eighth-grade year at DCD is one of challenge and transformation, and having the opportunity to go back and experience the wonder and excitement of being a five-year-old is refreshing—a welcome break from thinking about their next schools. And, as one put it, “they are just so cute, and they are amazed at everything!”
For a kindergarten student, garnering the special attention from a “big kid” feels so good. There is nothing like a high-five and a smile from your big buddy as you pass in the hallway or a warm hand to squeeze as you watch a class play together.
The match-up process is wonderful to watch. Conducted in a completely random manner, eighth-graders draw names from a cup to find out who their little buddy will be for the entire year. Sitting on opposite sides of the kindergarten room, kindergarteners and eighth-graders anxiously wait for their turn to pick and be chosen. “It doesn’t really matter who you get for your buddy because in the end, it turns all turns out great,” explains an eighth-grader.
Once all of the matches had been made, the students had the chance to spend some time getting to know each other, sharing stories about families, favorite foods, favorite colors, and special interests. Throughout the year, big buddies and little buddies have many opportunities to build their relationships and solidify friendships, connecting for apple picking, fort building, sledding, crafting, reading, ice skating and much more. It’s going to be a great year!