You’ve got a friend in me

Best pals club creates amazing memories

What better way to spend lunch on Thursdays than with your new best friends? The Best Pals club members meet every Thursday to eat lunch with students from the critical skills classes and do fun activities. At the start of the year the club has a matching party where club members are matched up with a pal that they eat lunch with every Thursday for the rest of the year. The club has activities like arts and crafts, games, Just Dance, and holiday parties.

Co-presidents junior Emily Nakummura and senior Bailey Burks set up fundraisers with In the Mix Frozen Yogurt to raise money for all of the events including the Best Pals prom. Nakummura plays a big part in planning the meeting. “I run Monday leadership meetings to prepare for Thursdays when our club meets. I also plan our events with other schools, including best pals prom,” Nakummura said. Typically, the previous leaders will interview and select the following school year’s leadership team. There is a written application, and the best candidate is chosen for each leadership position. 

“Our goal is to continue the positive things we are doing and make adjustments where we can in order to ensure the best experience for everyone. We also review previous meetings to highlight the positives and to discuss any needed changes,” Burks said.

To celebrate the holidays, on the Thursday before break Best Pals had a cookie decorating party during lunch, and went to Christmas card lane with Del Norte Best Buddies on Dec. 20. 

The advisor of the club, Speech TherapistAnnie Chen enjoys playing a part in the club. “Emily and Bailey work well together and bounce ideas off one another. They both have firsthand experience working with individuals with disabilities and are comfortable doing so. They strive to make the club welcoming and enjoyable for all students,” Chen said.