Members of Attica’s Best Buddies chapter and the Wyoming Correctional Facility’s Make A Difference committee pose for a photo at Attica High School Oct. 24.

Members of the Wyoming Correctional Facility’s Make a Difference committee presented Attica Central Schools’ Best Buddies chapter with a $350 donation last week at the high school.

Best Buddies is an international, non-profit organization that creates opportunities for elementary and middle school students with disabilities to build relationships with high school-age mentors. Through planned social events, the "Buddies" gain self-advocacy skills, increase social communication, inclusivity and connections in order to feel more secure and valued.  

Best Buddies Advisor Debbie Stanton, a teacher at Attica High School, said the donation would be used to defray the cost of national dues and to help the organization pay for materials for future events.  

“We’re so grateful to Attica’s Make a Difference committee for this generous donation,” said Stanton. “It’s going to go a long way toward helping our members build meaningful relationships with their buddies.” 

According to Mary Anne Acker, who sits on the Make a Difference committee, Attica Village Mayor Nate Montford, who’s also a committee member, learned about Best Buddies during a trip to speak with Stanton’s government class about his elected position. 

“Some of the students in the class were members of Best Buddies and they discussed the program with him. He brought that information back to us at a committee meeting suggesting that it might be a good program to support,” Acker explained. “We decided to help Best Buddies because of the positive nature of the program. Many of the members on the Make a Difference Committee are teachers and most are parents. Best Buddies is something that we would like to see be successful to help make a difference in the lives of those kids in need.”

Attica’s Best Buddies chapter has more than 30 members who regularly volunteer to help make a positive difference in the lives of younger students.