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Best Buddies

Haine Elementary School recently started a Best Buddies chapter and selected students came together to paint pumpkins on Monday, Oct. 30, in the school’s cafeteria.

Best Buddies is an international organization consisting of volunteers that create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  At the elementary level, it’s about promoting inclusion and friendship among students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities through group activities.

Two teacher-nominated students from each third and fourth grade classrooms as well as students who primarily attend Haine Elementary’s Multiple Supports classrooms joined together for the fun.

There will be a variety of Best Buddies activities taking place throughout the year. Following the fall pumpkin painting, there is a group activity planned for winter, spring and a big event culminating at the end of the school year.

“I’ve been working with the Best Buddies International Pittsburgh Program Manager on this and we’re very excited about the new chapter,” said Dr. Kathleen Mahon, School Psychologist at Haine Elementary School. “We’re starting small this year but hope to grow the program in the future.” 

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). For more information about the program, visit

best buddies

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Posted 10/30/2023