I am the LLD (Language and Learning Disabled) teacher at our middle school. When I started here, I was essentially hired to create and teach the LLD program since there wasn't one prior. I felt I was meeting the academic and language needs of our students. Where I struggled, was with how to address their delicate social and emotional needs and so Be-A-Buddy was developed. Through mentoring and friendship, typical 8th grade students volunteer their choice period twice a week to provide dignified social opportunities for students with language and social needs with the platform being sports. The outward display of empathy and inclusion is contributing to cultivating a more caring and socially inclusive community in our middle school.
update: 3/27/17 Here's a quick lesson to get started. This lesson is on goal setting and making yourself a promise at the start of the school year. I've also included a google student survey to get a feel for where students are as you start the year. I do another at the end of each MP and a final one at the end of the year. **see attachments