Students in our general ed population are matched with a buddy from one of our special needs classes. These buddies work together to train for the Special Olympics held in April. Every Tuesday morning our 2nd grade buddies pick up their "athletes" from their classrooms and meet in the multi-purpose room where they practice obstacles together. Our buddies will also spend time together in the classroom setting getting to know each other through reading and other activities. This year we are trying something new by having our 1st grade students help set up and manage the stations in the multipurpose room during practices. We are hoping this will help the students become more familiar with one another so that when they move up to 2nd grade and become buddies they will have some experience. This is our 2nd year participating with Unified Schools and we have seen so much empathy, growth, friendship and life long memories that have come from these experiences. I would highly encourage other schools to participate in this project.