Kinderbuddy Duos Meet, Fun Ensues

Kinderbuddies met for the first time yesterday! In this amazing Meadowridge program, Grade 12 students are paired with Kindergartners to build bonds, be role models, and celebrate life. Before the pairs meet up, the Kindergarten teachers and Post-Secondary Counselling team meet in a draft-like atmosphere to make the pairings.

The meeting is intense and draws our character strengths in the Grade 12 and Kindergarten students so that buddies are well-suited to each other. Then, a cloak of secrecy is imposed until our first playdate. Before they meet, the Kindergarten students are pretty nervous, but the Grade 12’s even more so… will my buddy like me? what will I do with them? How will we become friends? Will they accept me? 

It amazes me every year how magically, as soon as they are introduced, both parties throw themselves into being together. Yesterday was the first year we have more Kindergarteners than Grade 12’s, so some of the Kindergarten students had to share their buddy. They did so generously and willingly.

As the duos played together, I heard a Grade 12 student squeal “I love this!” while diligently guarding Kindergarten students from falling off the climbing frame. The Grade 12 students rode the teeter-totter, climbed higher on the spider frame than ever before, relearned that sliding down the slide in a skirt isn’t ideal, and smiled – a lot – thanks to their Kindergarten friends. When walking the Kindergarteners back to their classroom, I saw Grade 12’s who were exhausted and joy-filled. It is amazing how a little time with their buddy resets and rejuvenates them, reminding them to notice the amazing things in our world and how to give and be loved. 

I am so privileged to be a part of such an amazing program – it’s almost better than our PADS dogs for our Grade 12’s. Thank you to Ms. Maynes, Ms. Warner, Ms. Higginson, Mr. Graveson, Mrs. Just, and Ms. Chen for making it happen. We are now waiting excitedly for our next date – a pumpkin hunt in the North Forest on October 22!

Mrs. Cathy White
DP Coordinator and Post-Secondary Counsellor