Bobcat Buddies Begin Integration into Life Skills Class

Written by: Lane Barrette, Co-Editor

Starting this year, the National Honors Society (NHS) will be orchestrating the ‘Bobcat Buddies’ program. This program integrates NHS students into Kelly Kanan’s Life Skills class allowing them to work with her students. While in the classroom, the buddies with work on assignments together, such as balancing a checkbook or calculating tax on a menu. Out of the classroom, the buddies with travel with Kanan’s class on any field trips they go on, such as going with the group on shopping trips. The main purpose of Bobcat Buddies is to establish social connections and communication with students that would normally not be in the same classes together.

“My students having a peer who they could see walking down the hall to acknowledge each other would make my students feel more comfortable with and make friendships,” said Kanan.

Not only are the students in Kanan’s classroom establishing connections, but the Buddies themselves are also making relationships with their paired student.

“I like being a Bobcat Buddy because my friend group is relatively a small group of people so being able to make friends and be around people I’ve never met before is nice,” said junior Kenna Rosche.

Kanan’s lesson plans teach skills that are used throughout life after high school, so the buddies will also gain skills along with their student.

“I love being a Bobcat Buddy because it’s fun having new experiences. It teaches me something new and every time I come back, I never experience a dull moment,” said junior Gabrielle Benson.

On their first day, Wednesday, March 5, the students made Powerballs with their buddy.

“When the buddies came in, I paired them up with who had applied with my students so they could get conversations started. We then made Powerballs, which is one of our big fundraisers. Having them get hands-on together would be a huge deal in our classroom,” said Kanan.

NHS members are excused from their Gold 1 and 2 classes for the last 30 minutes to join Kanan’s class. This time restraint limits the buddies from being in the classroom at all times. In the future, Bobcat Buddies may be expanding to be another class, like Care Cats or Aide, to allow more time for the students involved to build connections and work together.

“I think I’d be a great addition [having a class] for the buddies so they can get hands-on experience and see how different classrooms function,” said Kanan.

If anyone is interested in becoming a Bobcat Buddy, please contact NHS advisor Alex Verbenec ([email protected]), or Lane Barrette ([email protected]).