The extracurricular club Viking Buddies creates opportunities for students to connect with peers while organizing events that strengthen The Valley’s community. Each month, Viking Buddies hosts events within the club or school-wide. Through this club, buddies and peers form significant friendships.
“Viking Buddies focuses on inclusion for all students. We create a safe environment for all students where we can build friendships and work on communication skills. This club is crucial for everyone to feel valued by others,” said Alessia Revelli, the president of Viking Buddies.
While the school offers a similar elective course, Peer Buddies, Viking Buddies endorses social opportunities outside of school. Viking Buddies incentivizes students to attend community activities and form friendships beyond the classroom. Members of Viking Buddies help special education students expand beyond their comfort zones within the campus.
The club plans to continue activities from previous years, such as the Polar Pop, which raises money for the school’s Unified Track Team. An approaching club event is the Bocce tournament, one that strives to gain interest for the Unified Bocce team. In addition to larger projects, the club coordinates seasonal activities such as Secret Santa and visiting Santa during the holiday season.
“We get to participate in fun activities outside of school and at meetings. Also, we can have a buddy that we hang out with and get to know better. It’s a great environment to be in and to be able to make new friends,” Revelli said.
Students enjoy participating in this club because they create friendships and improve communication skills. Viking Buddies establishes a comfortable atmosphere where students feel safe to enjoy fun activities. Ultimately, Viking Buddies aims for students to feel secure within the entire school.
“The objective of Viking Buddies is to not have to need the club for our special education students to feel included in a meaningful way on campus. We try to teach through experiences and communication between buddies and their peers,” adviser Mrs. Roche said.
Viking Buddies is enthusiastic about upcoming events and bettering inclusion at the high school. While this club ensures a haven for students, it also advocates for students to step outside of their comfort zone on campus.