Daycare Buddies is an opportunity for NJHS members to help out in their community, and a chance to gain experience with children. Although there are three dates available to members, they must attend a minimum of one per quarter. This quarter, the dates are April 16, May 9, and May 19. One date is dedicated to reading stories to children, the second to playing games, and the third to making crafts.
After school on the date of the Daycare Buddies, the members gather in Lisa Di Chiara’s classroom to await all the members and to hear their instructions. Di Chiara shares her expectations for the group: that they are focused and respectful, good examples to their “buddies,” and ready to step up and help. At three o’clock the students depart for the staff daycare classroom.
When the students arrive they find a child to be their buddy, and begin an activity or craft. The students stay until three-thirty, at which time they are dismissed to leave.
Daycare Buddies not only builds relationships between students and the “buddies,” but also between NJHS members. “The best part of Daycare Buddies is getting to play with the little kids,” says eighth grader Alexa Marshall. It gives the staff daycare children something fun and different to look forward to. Many students who attend all of the Daycare Buddies are able to form close relationships with the children. Eighth grader Sarah Lemme said, “My favorite part of Daycare Buddies is that we have the chance to spend time with younger kids.” Daycare Buddies is a way for NJHS to support the school in addition to a way to get the members into helping their Horizon Honors community.