Best Buddies have the best dance parties


Courtesy of Kathleen Thomason

Caitlin Deboy, Staff Writer

Each week, you’ll find students in the Best Buddies Club having lunch together, participating in Just Dance, or playing games. Best Buddies was created to foster friendships between students with and without disabilities as well as to advocate for students with disabilities. The club formed last year, during Covid, and after raising money for dues and finding students to participate, the club was in full swing, beginning with virtual activities. Students eagerly joined the club, some having previously participated in the Best Buddies Program at other high schools. The club shifted to in person this year with the reopening of schools. 

The Best Buddies club aims to hold an outside of school event once a month, such as when members participated in the Maryland Corn Maze in October and a Friendsgiving in November, with yard games and a feast. They plan to participate in the Polar Bear Plunge in January as well, which raises money for the Special Olympics. Another goal of the club is to promote Unified Sports throughout each season (including tennis in the fall, bowling in the winter, and bocce in the spring). Brooke Berned, a member of Best Buddies, participated in Unified tennis this past fall and loved how the club fostered inclusion as well as how friendly all of the team members were.

A typical week of Best Buddies includes meetings during black block on Tuesdays and gold block on Thursdays, where students will have dance parties-a club favorite, or play games. Kathleen Thomason, Rachel Caufield, and Brooke Berned all consider the Best Buddies Dance parties their favorite part of the club. Students in the club also eat lunch together during red block, hang out in the Best Buddies room each morning before class, and communicate outside of school with each other; on social media or by texting. Emily Krucoff explains how members of the club form Buddy Families, groups of 3-5 members who participate in the activities together for the year. 

Jennifer Lowe, the special educator for students with disabilities and the leader of the Best Buddies club here at Crofton, emphasizes that, “Best Buddies is truly one of the highlights of my students’ time at school. To watch how this club affords them the opportunity to interact and engage with other high school students in a social way has been nothing short of amazing.” She explains that the goal of the club is to “celebrate and bring awareness to individuals with disabilities, foster meaningful connections and participation in school, as well as develop true friendships between students with/without disabilities.” She fondly recalls the virtual movie night from last year (where members watched Home Alone), the afternoon at the Maryland Corn Maze, and seeing students bond in and outside of school.

Students in the Best Buddies Club at Crofton High School all rave about the inclusion fostered by the club, the bonds formed between students, and especially the Just Dance Parties. The club is welcome to all, and meets during black block on Tuesdays and gold block on Thursdays!