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Letter from the Director Ask Emerson Best Buddies Spotlight e-Buddy of the Month Tech Corner e-Buddies in Action!

contentse-Buddies in Action!

Each month, we are happy to take the time to highlight a school or agency that is involved in e-Buddies. Our hope is that this will be an opportunity to share some of the challenges and triumphs encountered through group participation in e-Buddies!

This month, we spoke with Scott Hamre from Bloomington High School in Bloomington, California!

How long has your group been involved in e-Buddies?
We have been involved with e-Buddies for four years.

How many members are currently matched with e-Buddies?
We have nine current participants. Two years ago we had the largest contingent in California but they were not all effectively using the program.

What are some key challenges you have faced and overcome?
Key challenges for us are time for the curriculum, time to do the e-mailing, home participation and getting the e-Buddies Coordinator (EBC) involved in a meaningful manner. We overcame the EBC issue by getting a student that could have a Teacher's Aide period with us. Home participation will always be a problem. Managing time at school for curriculum and e-mailing can be managed by the Special Education Advisor.

How do you make e-Buddies work with your group?
We make it work by allocating time for it and allowing the e-Buddies to authentically participate with their own interests and ideas in the letters to their buddies. We help some type, help some read, and help some think of how to answer their conversational questions and ask some, too.

What have your group members gained by participating in e-Buddies?
The Buddies have been helped by knowing there is someone who wants to know about them, what they like to do, and what is going on in their lives. They are also helped with improved computer and writing/language skills. Finally, they are prodded to think about questions and possible answers and participate in the "social contract process" of give and take. We love doing the e-Buddies program ... it makes our entire class experience a richer one.

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Do you work with a group of e-Buddies participants? We'd love to feature your group here! Please contact us at ebuddiescomments@bestbuddies.org.


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