At NHE, we believe that every child will be more successful, both academically and socially, if they are in a community where all children are valued and belong. 

HOW your students can get involved

Students will be nominated to participate by their teacher in the Fall semester, and permission slips will be sent home.  They will spend 30 minutes with their Buddy in the Life Skills room twice per month. Buddies will eat lunch together, and Life Skills teacher will guide students in how to interact with their buddies and introduce their interests. Activities might include reading, listening to music, playing games, or working on crafts provided by the teacher or parent liaison.  There will also be special events throughout the year to celebrate the friendships being made. Parents of any student participating in Special Buddies will be invited to attend and volunteer in small ways at each event. We look forward to a successful second year of this program at NHE!


ABOUT Special Buddies


Our vision is to create an environment where differences are welcomed, and meaningful connections are made between students of different abilities in order to break down barriers that can be caused by fear, misunderstanding or simply the lack of opportunity to interact with those who have disabilities. Creating this culture of diversity and inclusion at an early age sets a strong foundation for all children to grow into successful students who value contributions from others, respect and celebrate their peers, and conduct themselves with empathy, integrity and kindness.  


Childhood has many challenges, and these challenges are even greater when a child has a disability. Recognizing the opportunity we have to make a positive difference in the social and academic outcomes for these students, the mission of Special Buddies is to extend a caring hand to our children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) through meaningful interactions with typically developing peers, while embedding SBISD’s Core Values for each student participant:

  • Every Child: Every Child. Every Day. Every Minute. Every Way
  • Collective Greatness: Diversity Makes Us Stronger
  • Collaborative Spirit: Assume the Best
  • Limitless Curiosity: Tenaciously Embrace Challenges
  • Moral Compass: Kindness and Mutual Respect


  • To eliminate any fears or misconceptions that children who do not have intellectual and developmental disabilities might have about children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
  • To provide children with IDD and children without IDD the opportunity to socialize. This will contribute to each child’s sense of purpose and self-esteem and provide positive skills for interpersonal relationships.
  • To teach all children to embrace differences and become caring friends.
  • To help all children learn that everyone has strengths, abilities, hopes and dreams and they each have something special to contribute to our school and community.


WANT to learn more or get involved with Special Buddies?

Contact the NHE Special Buddies founder, Kristin Anderson at