Big Buddies Meet with Little Buddies at SES

Liz Beall, Reporter

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   Big Buddies began building year-long relationships with their Little Buddies after training in November.

  In the Big Buddy program, a Southern Elementary School student is paired with a Susquehannock junior or senior with the goal of forming a positive bond.

  Not only do Little Buddies have fun during their weekly visits, they gain social skills, receive needed extra attention, and become motivated to learn.

  SES school counselor Michelle Brengle acknowledges how a high school student serves as an effective mentor for the young students.

  “A lot of times kids get tired of hearing the adults talk all the time, and when a peer, or a teenager a little older than them of course, gives them advice or suggestions, they sometimes take those suggestions a little more than they do from the adults in their life,” said Brengle.

  Junior Angelica Hunt, a first-time Big Buddy, enjoys the opportunity for fellowship with a young student.

  “I really like working with kids, and because I don’t have a chance to take child care because my schedule doesn’t really fit it, I wanted to work with elementary school aged kids,” said Hunt.

  Hunt hopes to benefit her Little Buddy through an interest they share.

  “Because he’s interested in STEM, I think I want to try to help him find out what he likes specifically in STEM because I am also interested in STEM, so I think it’s cool that I got paired with him so I can help him out with what he likes,” said Hunt.

  Senior Emma Day’s Big Buddy experience in her junior year made her want to join again this year.

  Big Buddy’s overall concept is what drew Day in from the start.

  “I love helping people, and so being able to give back and help children- as well as I want to be a teacher, so I think it’s a good opportunity to learn and kind of experience what I’ll be doing in the future,” said Day.

  Day understands that, as a Big Buddy, being compassionate about a Little Buddy’s needs makes all the difference.

  “Understanding some people’s strengths and weaknesses aren’t always the same, so I think just understanding and seeing what they’re good at and maybe helping them a little bit in their weakness area,” said Day.

  Brengle has led the Big Buddy Program in SES for the past 13 years and has seen its lasting effects.

  “When I see Little Buddies come back as Big Buddies, I know it made an impact because they want to give back,” said Brengle.

Big buddies wear pins when they come to meet with their buddies.
Photo by: Leah Miller

Senior Anna Mahan meets with her little buddy in the computer lab.
Photo by: Leah Miller

Juniors Annabelle and Alexis Bobby play with their little buddy in the gym.
Photo by: Leah Miller

This little buddy shows his big buddy pictures on the computer.
Photo by: Leah Miller

Senior Abby Gallegos and her little buddy get ready to play games on the computer.
Photo by: Leah Miller

Juniors Annabelle and Alexis Bobby help their buddy log onto the computer.
Photo by: Leah Miller

The buddies work together to come up with fun games to play in the gym.
Photo by: Leah Miller

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Big Buddies Meet with Little Buddies at SES