Best Buddies presents…

Best Buddies presents e-Buddies: Friendships through Technology What is Best Buddies? Best Buddies is a non-profit 501(c)(3)

organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment. The only way to have a friend is to be one Ralph Waldo Emerson Best Buddies Programs

Best Buddies seeks to achieve our mission of friendship and inclusion through our six programs: Best Buddies Middle Schools Best Buddies High Schools

Best Buddies Colleges Best Buddies Citizens Best Buddies Jobs e-Buddies What is eBuddies? e-Buddies helps build one-to-one e-mail friendships between people with and without intellectual

disabilities. Why e-Buddies? Best Buddies is dedicated to promoting inclusion for individuals with disabilities. Computers, the Internet and e-mail have made a significant impact in our lives We know that they can make an even more profound impact on

the lives of individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities are one quarter as likely as their non-disabled counterparts to use the Internet. (Source: Dr. Stephen Kaye, Computer and Internet Use Among People with Disabilities, Disabilities Statistic Center, University of California San Francisco, 2000.) How does eBuddies Work? e-Buddies matches an individual with an intellectual disability in

a one-to-one e-mail friendship with a non-disabled volunteer. What do eBuddies do? Once matched, e-Buddies participants exchange e-mails with their e-Buddy once a week. Of course, many of our

participants enjoy the e-mail relationship so much, they e-mail each other every day! Through email, I don't think about his disability, but think of him more like a fully capable person. - Jan Sandven, e-Buddies Volunteer How e-Buddies can help you. Provides an opportunity for one-toone socialization for your students

Provides a fun, interactive activity with educational benefits My kids fight to get to READ and WRITE e-mails!!! My students are soooooo excited about the program and ask every day whether they received new emails. - Robert McMahon, a special education teacher from Pennsylvania How e-Buddies can help you. Helps promote the development of valuable literacy and computer skills Helps students expand upon and reach

their educational goals The e-Buddies program allows me to assess IEP goals and State Standards in Writing, Reading and Spelling in a meaningful way. We never hear students complaining about communication with new friends in different parts of the country. - Ted Martch, a special education teacher from Oregon Want Best Buddies but there are no programs available

in your area? No matter where you are located, you can get started with e-Buddies right away! Already have Best Buddies? e-Buddies provides an additional friendship opportunity for your

students! Students who are waiting for an in-person buddy can be matched with an e-Buddy right away! What Youll Need to Succeed Routine access to a computer with Internet computers can be in your classroom, or at

your school library or computer lab Each participant will need their own unique e-mail address "Ryan has never done so much writing in his life and never before has he cared about his spelling. - Holly Carol, a special education teacher from Massachusetts Anything Else? Explain the benefits of e-Buddies to other teachers at your school! Informed and

motivated teachers are vital to the success of e-Buddies. It is VERY helpful to set aside regular computer time for your participants. e-Buddies has been very educational. Our students enjoy it so much, and it had been a big help to them. They have increased their skills on the computer, as well as sentence structure, punctuation, and thinking ability. - Pam Roberts, a special education teacher from Virginia. e-Buddies Guide to Internet Literacy

To help teachers integrate e-Buddies into their curriculum, Best Buddies developed the e-Buddies Guide to Internet Literacy. Literacy The Guide is a comprehensive program that provides a series of lessons for teachers to facilitate e-mail friendships e-Buddies Guide to Internet Literacy

The e-Buddies Guide includes: Lesson Plans a year-long sequence of lessons to guide e-mail exchanges Teacher's Manual describes instructional procedures and provides materials for planning lessons Student Guidebook provides prompts and references to help teach students to read and write e-mails. e-Buddies Guide to

Internet Literacy Want a preview? You can download and view the America Online version of e-Buddies Guide from our website for free! Want to get your own copy? There are versions of the e-Buddies Guide for AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, and Outlook available for purchase. Need e-mail

addresses? Try Gaggle.net! Gaggle.net supplies teachers with free e-mail accounts that are specifically designed for the classroom. Gaggle.net gives the teacher complete control over what e-mails each student can send and receive. To take a quick tour or sign up for Gaggle.net, please visit Gaggle.net.

More Options! Even if your students cannot participate in class, send information about e-Buddies home with them Some of your students may already have e-mail access at home! I enjoy e-Buddies very much. It has helped me open myself as a person in a lot ways. - Dale Mustered, e-Buddy from Illinois How to sign up!

The e-Buddies application is online! Simply visit www.ebuddies.org and click on the Join e-Buddies! button. If your students will be participating in eBuddies as a classroom activity, we recommend our simplified Group Application to help expedite the sign up process. Managing eBuddies The Group Admin Tool: Allows teachers to view a roster of students

involved in e-Buddies Quickly and easily sign up new students Track and monitor e-mail exchanges between students and their e-Buddies Highly recommended for teachers who use e-Buddies as an in-class activity! How long does it take to get an e-Buddy? Typically, it takes between one and four

weeks to conduct the necessary background and reference checks. Once we have completed the screening process, it can take between two days and two weeks to find an appropriate match. Is e-Buddies safe? Best Buddies is committed to making e-Buddies a fun, fulfilling, and SAFE experience.

We conduct background checks and contact references for all e-Buddies applicants. We do not match participants that live in the same state. Is e-Buddies safe? e-Buddies E-mail System The e-Buddies E-mail System allows participants to e-mail each other without

divulging their actual e-mail address. Our E-mail System also allows us to track email exchanges between matched eBuddies. e-Buddies Code of Conduct All e-Buddies participants must agree to the e-Buddies Code of Conduct. Violating the e-Buddies Code of Conduct can result in immediate dismissal from e-Buddies.

e-Buddies Code of Conduct The Code of Conduct PROHIBITS: Exchanging home addresses, actual e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers The transmittal of offensive or pornographic content, or e-mail attachments of any sort In-person meetings, unless arranged by a Best Buddies staff member

What else do you need to know? What is the age range for e-Buddies? e-Buddies is open to all participants that are 10 years old and up. There is no maximum age to participate in e-Buddies! "My students have difficulty maintaining friendships for various reasons. Speech problems may interfere with communication or students' conversational skills may be inadequate. These problems do not translate to the computer." - Jeanne Sabol, Special Education Teacher

What else do you need to know? Consent from a parent / legal guardian: All participants under the age of 18 must have permission from a parent or legal guardian to join e-Buddies. All participants 18 years or older who have a court-appointed guardian must also receive permission to participate in e-Buddies.

What else do you need to know? Does e-Buddies cost anything? e-Buddies is ALWAYS free for individuals with intellectual disabilities. There is a one-time fee for volunteers that DO NOT have a disability and are 18 years old and up. The e-Buddies Impact

As of January 25, 2005, e-Buddies has: 1,092 active matches 2,178 participants exchanging e-mails 6,250 participants served since 1999 Contact Us For more information please visit our website at: www.ebuddies.org "Because of e-Buddies, e-mail has become something I look forward to, and the computer has become a way for me to make friends."

- Joshua Handler, New Jersey Special Olympics Athlete Best Buddies presents e-Buddies: Friendships through Technology

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