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Carolyn Hughes and Erik W. Carter

Peer Buddy Programs for Successful Secondary School Inclusion

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When secondary schools are committed to inclusion, everybody wins--schools make progress toward IDEA and NCLB requirements, and students with and without disabilities enjoy higher academic achievement and new friendships. A good peer buddy program can play an invaluable role in making inclusion happen, and this guidebook shows educators exactly why and how.

Carolyn Hughes and Erik Carter, highly respected experts well-known for their work with peer buddy programs, give schools all the step-by-step guidance they need to get a program started and keep it going. Educators will discover how to...

... establish a peer buddy program and spark student interest

... clarify the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved--teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, and students

... create successful peer-buddy matches using students' strengths, needs, and common interest

... develop smooth procedures for day-to-day program implementation

... guide peer buddies in providing appropriate, effective academic support

... promote inclusion in social arenas such as school clubs and the lunchroom

... assess and expand the program, incorporating participant feedback

To help with every phase of program implementation, readers will also get a wealth of practical, research-based materials: extensive case examples, program checklists, suggested classroom adaptations, sample forms such as peer buddy applications and evaluation tools, and learning activities school staff can use to brainstorm and solve problems.

With the proven program model in this one-of-a-kind guide, educators will transform secondary schools into caring and compassionate communities where all students help each other learn.

Table of Contents

About the Authors

Foreword by Janet Eyler

Foreword by Martha E. Snell



SECTION 1: "He's My Best Friend!"

Why Start a Service-Learning Peer Buddy Program?

Chapter 1: Benefits of Inclusion of All Students

The Importance of Inclusion and Student Interaction

Legislative and Policy Initiatives Supporting Inclusion

Philosophical Support for Inclusion

Research Basis for Inclusion

Challenges to Secondary School Inclusion

Overview of the Service-Learning Movement

What Is a Service-Learning Peer Buddy Program?

Chapter 2: What Does a Peer Buddy Program Look Like?

Case Example: The Metropolitcan Nashville Peer Buddy Program

Program Variations

How to Use the Rest of this Book

SECTION 2: "How Do I Start?"

Setting Up a Peer Buddy Program

Chapter 3: Laying the Groundwork

Importance of Establishing a Base of Support

Developing a Credit Service-Learning Course

Form: Figure 3.1

Chapter 4: Recruiting Participants

Encouraging Student Participation

Ways to Recruit Peer Buddies

Strategies for Screening Students

Strategies for Matching Students

Forms: Figures 4.1 and 4.2

Chapter 5: Developing Procedures and Communicating Expectations

Developing Program Implementation Procedures

Communicating Expectations to Peer Buddies Through Orientation Sessions

Compiling Peer Buddy Handbooks

Forms: Figures 5.2, 5.3, and 5.5

SECTION 3: "How Do I Keep It Going?"

Administering a Peer Buddy Program

Chapter 6: Supporting Peer Buddy Participants

Addressing Peer Buddy Support Needs

Communicating with Peer Buddies

Helping Peer Buddies Assist Students with Disabilities

Communicating with and Supporting School Staff

Showing Appreciation to Peer Buddy Program Participants

Forms: Figures 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, and 6.5

Chapter 7: Implementing Peer Buddy Programs Inside and Outside the Classroom

Including Students in General Education Classrooms

Including Students in Noninstructional School, Extracurricular, and After-School Activities

Including Students in Community-Based Instruction

Helping Students Make the Transition from Special to General Education Classrooms

Form: Figure 7.1

Chapter 8: Evaluating, Sustaining, and Expanding a Peer Buddy Program

Evaluating Peer Buddy Programs and Incorporating Participant Feedback

Working with Advisory Boards to Sustain Programs

Expanding a Peer Buddy Program

Forms: Figures 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, and 8.5

Append: Resources


"Realistic, accessible, and practical ... If you are thinking of starting a peer buddy program, or are wondering how to maintain and/or improve an existing program, you must get this book"--Liz Keefe, PhD, Associate Professor, University of New Mexico

"When the best predictor of adult success for a student with disabilities is their social support system, every high school special education teacher needs to have this information."--Lynnette Henderson, PhD, CCRP, Research Participant Coordinator, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research in Human Development

224 pages. 2008

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