A program aimed at creating a better world by teaching children how to live in harmony will be taught to about 10,000 more students in 44 cities through a new partnership.
Best Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement, is collaborating with San Diego-based National University to integrate its Sanford Harmony program to about 500 elementary and middle schools.
Locally, the programs will be taught at Bernardo Heights Middle School in Rancho Bernardo, Coronado Middle School in Coronado and Los Coches Middle School in El Cajon.
Sanford Harmony is a social/emotional learning program that helps reinforce positive peer interactions among children through easy-to-use activity and lesson plans.
Part of Best Buddies’ program involves creating one-to-one friendships and integrating employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
According to National University, Sanford Harmony’s goal of improving relationships among children through adulthood aligns with the goals and principles of the Best Buddies program. That group seeks to eradicate the social, physical and economic isolation of millions of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Best Buddies is honored to partner with National University to offer Sanford Harmony to our student participants and further progress our mission of friendship and social inclusion in a powerful way,” said Anthony Shriver, Best Buddies International’s founder and chairman. “This is an incredible addition to the Best Buddies curriculum and I truly do believe that it will change the way our participants learn about the core values of Best Buddies, including diversity, empathy, inclusion, and communication.”
To date, Sanford Harmony is in various stages of adoption in more than 16,970 classrooms around the country, which represents over 366,000 students in more than 20 states.
Since forming in 1989, Best Buddies has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,900 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. It offers eight formal programs, engages participants in 50 states and in over 50 countries, impacting the lives of more than 900,000 people with and without disabilities.
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