Peer Buddy Programs for Successful Secondary School Inclusion
Special Education
A practical and straightforward peer buddy program that promotes inclusion, encourages development of social relationships, and improves academic achievement of students with and without disabilities.
69803 978-1-55766-980-3
2008 224
Available Stock
When secondary schools are committed to inclusion, everybody wins—schools make progress toward IDEA and NCLB requirements, and students with and without disabilities enjoy higher academic achievement and new friendships. A good peer buddy program can play an invaluable role in making inclusion happen, and this guidebook shows educators exactly why and how.

Carolyn Hughes and Erik Carter, highly respected experts well-known for their work with peer buddy programs, give schools all the step-by-step guidance they need to get a program started and keep it going. Educators will discover how to

  • establish a peer buddy program and spark student interest
  • clarify the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved: teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, and students
  • create successful peer-buddy matches using students' strengths, needs, and common interests
  • develop smooth procedures for day-to-day program implementation
  • guide peer buddies in providing appropriate, effective academic support
  • promote inclusion in social arenas such as school clubs and the lunchroom
  • assess and expand the program, incorporating participant feedback

To help with every phase of program implementation, readers will also get a wealth of practical, research-based materials: extensive case examples, program checklists, suggested classroom adaptations, sample forms such as peer buddy applications and evaluation tools, and learning activities school staff can use to brainstorm and solve problems.

With the proven program model in this one-of-a-kind guide, educators will transform secondary schools into caring and compassionate communities where all students help each other learn.

About the Authors
Janet Eyler

Martha E. Snell


I. "He's My Best Friend!"
Why Start a Service-Learning Peer Buddy Program?

  1. Benefits of Inclusion of All Students
    The Importance of Inclusion and Student Interaction
    Legislative and Policy Initiatives Supporting Inclusion
    Philosophical Support for Inclusion
    Research Basis for Inclusion
    Challenges to Secondary School Inclusion
    Overview of the Service-Learning Movement
    What Is a Service-Learning Peer Buddy Program?
  2. What Does a Peer Buddy Program Look Like?
    Case Example: The Metropolitan Nashville Peer Buddy Program
    Program Variations
    How to Use the Rest of this Book

II. "How Do I Start?"
Setting Up a Peer Buddy Program

  1. Laying the Groundwork
    Importance of Establishing a Base of Support
    Developing a Credit Service-Learning Course
    Form: Figure 3.1
  2. Recruiting Participants
    Encouraging Student Participation
    Ways to Recruit Peer Buddies
    Strategies for Screening Students
    Strategies for Matching Students
    Forms: Figures 4.1 and 4.2
  3. Developing Procedures and Communicating Expectations
    Developing Program Implementation Procedures
    Communicating Expectations to Peer Buddies
    Through Orientation Sessions
    Compiling Peer Buddy Handbooks
    Forms: Figures 5.2, 5.3, and 5.5

III. "How Do I Keep It Going?"
Administering a Peer Buddy Program

  1. Supporting Peer Buddy Participants
    Addressing Peer Buddy Support Needs
    Communicating with Peer Buddies
    Helping Peer Buddies Assist Students with Disabilities
    Communicating with and Supporting School Staff
    Showing Appreciation for Peer Buddy Program
    Forms: Figures 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, and 6.5
  2. Implementing Peer Buddy Programs Inside and Outside the Classroom
    Including Students in General Education Classrooms
    Including Students in Noninstructional School, Extracurricular, and After-School Activities
    Including Students in Community-Based Instruction
    Helping Students Make the Transition from Special to General Education Classrooms
    Form: Figure 7.1
  3. Evaluating, Sustaining, and Expanding a Peer Buddy Program
    Evaluating Peer Buddy Programs and Incorporating Participant Feedback
    Working with Advisory Boards to Sustain Programs
    Expanding a Peer Buddy Program
    Forms: Figures 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, and 8.5

    Appendix: Resources


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: Focus on Autism and other Developmental Disabilities - December 1, 2009

"It is easy to recommend this well-written, insightful, and instructive book."

: Book News, Inc. - August 1, 2009
: Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities - May 1, 2009

"A must-have resource for anyone working with middle and high school students. Professionals applying the strategies in this book with students in the schools may greatly impact life outcomes of both young adults with and without disabilities."

: Down Syndrome News - December 1, 2008

"Will provide valuable guidance to those starting a program from scratch or breathing new life into an existing program."

: The Midwest Book Review - August 27, 2008

"Valuable advice and tips . . . A strong choice for any secondary school administrator."

: Educational Research Service - August 21, 2008
not quotable
: - June 4, 2008,0,7662049.story?page=1
Liz Keefe, Associate Professor, University of New Mexico - February 12, 2008

"Realistic, accessible, and practical . . . If you are thinking of starting a peer buddy program, or are wondering how to maintain and/or improve an existing program, you must get this book!"

Lynnette Henderson, Research Participant Coordinator, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research in Human Development - February 8, 2008

"When the best predictor of adult success for a student with disabilities is their social support system, every high school special education teacher needs to have this information."

Rachel Janney, Inclusive School Works; co-author, Teachers' Guides to Inclusive Practices series - February 6, 2008

"A comprehensive resource packed with tested tools and strategies that will enable readers to create a winning program at their own schools."

Harold Kleinert, Executive Director, University Center for Excellence, Human Development Institute, University of Kentucky - February 5, 2008

"A wonderful roadmap . . . simply the best book that has been written in this area!"