Best Buddies Club hosts Valentine’s Day dance party


Photo credit: Emma London

Students decorate Valentine’s day cards during the Best Buddies dance party. “The best part is seeing the buddies smile when we do fun activities,” Drew Kretchmer ’20 said.

Sparkly heart centerpieces and assorted chocolates filled the Dining Hall for a Valentine’s Day dance party hosted by the Best Buddies club during lunch on Feb. 11. Every other Monday during lunch, Archer students have the opportunity to create friendships with other students who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). They do different activities such as dancing, sports and coloring.

“We like to do a lot of Zumba and dancing in our club. We have a lot of really energetic buddies, and they really love to dance and listen to music,” club president Maisie Shapiro ’20 said. “It’s a really fun interactive activity for the entire club. We all love it.”

The club hosted a celebration including Valentine’s Day card making, dancing and various pink and red sweets. 

“The buddies are so amazing and they deserve the best,” Best Buddies board member Drew Kretchmer ’20 said. “I think it’s a really amazing opportunity for them because they love to dance, and it’s such a warm, welcoming community.”

Part of the organization’s mission states that their “programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers…and feel valued by society.” Shapiro said that she has formed powerful relationships through Best Buddies. 

“I love making new friends and meeting new people because I’ve met so many amazing friends through this organization,” Shapiro said. “I love seeing all of my Archer peers making new friends and learning.”

According to the Best Buddies website, the organization is “dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

“I think that the message of Best Buddies is really important because they help spread inclusivity for people with disabilities in so many different aspects, like jobs and one on one friendships, which we do here at Archer,” Shapiro said. “It’s really important that this message gets spread.”