Best Buddies Spirit Week


by Ainslee Archibald, News Editor

During the week of March 25th through 29th, Palo Verde came together for a Best Buddies Spirit Week, put on by Palo Verde’s Best Buddies Chapter and the Student Council. Through a variety of activities, ranging from dress-up days to pledging to the ideal of conclusion, students showed support for their peers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

On Monday, students dressed up in athletic gear to honor the Special Olympics. Then, on Tuesday, the Best Buddies group ran an effort to get students to pledge to support inclusion. Students who pledged at lunch would get a sticker to show their support. The Spread the Word: Inclusion campaign by the national movement follows a ten year effort called Spread the Word to End the Word, focusing on addressing the negative impact of the r-slur.

“We’ve never been really successful with Spread the Word to End the Word at this school, but this year the national organization changed it to Spread the Word: Inclusion. This year I think it was successful to raise awareness by doing a spirit week,” Melissa Lewis, the Best Buddies teacher advisor, said. The group broke their previous record of pledges at Palo Verde.

On Wednesday, students participated in Mix Match Socks Day, aiming to show that everyone is unique. Then, on Thursday Palo students raised $750 for Best Buddies during a Miracle Minute. Thursday was also Twin Day. On Friday, students wore Best Buddies gear or their colors: orange, yellow, teal and purple.

Ms. Lewis also explained how Best Buddies came to the idea of doing a spirit week for the first time.

“It’s new, we’ve never done it before. Our second vice president got the idea when she attended Best Buddies national leadership conference. It was part of the idea she was getting from other schools… March is the international Best Buddies month. Spread the Word to End the Word was never done successfully here so they were trying to think of new ways to make it successful, so we thought of doing it as a spirit week,” she said.

Best Buddies will move to planning for an upcoming friendship walk event, and will likely build on the success of this spirit week next year.