Return to Headlines

Starkweather Elementary School Named Outstanding Best Buddies Chapter for 2022-23 Academic School Year

The West Chester Area School District is proud to share that Starkweather Elementary School has been recognized as an Outstanding Best Buddies Chapter for the 2022-23 academic school year. Best Buddies International, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering inclusion and acceptance, has bestowed this honor on Starkweather Elementary School in recognition of the remarkable impact its chapter has had on promoting friendship, inclusivity, and support in the school and the broader community.

SWS students and staffBest Buddies Chapters are student-led initiatives that aim to create opportunities for individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities to form meaningful friendships, promote understanding, and foster a more inclusive society. The Outstanding Best Buddies Chapter recognition is awarded to those chapters that demonstrate exceptional commitment, innovation, and dedication to these goals.

Under the leadership of Starkweather Elementary School's dedicated students and educators, the Best Buddies Chapter has demonstrated unwavering dedication to its mission. Throughout the 2022-23 academic school year, the chapter organized activities and events that not only enriched the lives of its members but also left a lasting impact on the school community. 

“The best buddies program allows us to officially work to accomplish what we strive to do each day for all kids—allow them to feel accepted and included all while having fun with their friends,” said Starkweather Elementary School’s Principal, John Meanix. “I would definitely recommend more schools start a Best Buddies chapter!” he added.

The recognition of Starkweather Elementary School as an Outstanding Best Buddies Chapter for the 2022-23 academic school year reflects the dedication, compassion, and leadership of the students and educators involved. It underscores the West Chester Area School District's commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment, where every student is valued and embraced for their unique qualities.

“We are so proud of our Best Buddies chapter at Starkweather. Our activities bring together children of all abilities to promote inclusion and to foster long-lasting friendships,” said Starkweather Elementary School and third grade teacher, Susie Jackson. “Our chapter has grown to over 100 members in the past two years and we look forward to continuing to thrive!” 

The West Chester Area School District and Starkweather Elementary School would like to extend their gratitude to Best Buddies International for this distinguished recognition. They are honored to be a part of Best Buddies, which is making a significant impact on the lives of countless individuals by promoting friendship and inclusion.