Are Buddies Really Worth It?


What do you think about buddies? We interviewed a mix of middle schoolers and elementary students to find their open, honest opinions on the topic.

Buddies is an interactive experience that middle schoolers and elementary schoolers get. Once you get assigned a buddy, you will meet with them every Friday. These buddies are not just reading buddies; you can do anything with them! Some other things that middle schoolers and elementary schoolers have done with their buddies are go outside, play board games, and some have even done an art project together! Buddies are a great way for younger students and older students to get to know each other and create a better school community.

The eighth graders that we interviewed, Ruby and Sydney, have fourth grade buddies. Ruby said she likes buddies because it connects the school, and you get to skip part of academics. Her favorite thing to do with buddies is play games, she likes this because she is very competitive and because she “always win too.”  Ruby wishes she could do art with her buddy or a nonacademic activity. Do any of you remember reading buddies? Well, we used to do them at Blaine, so we asked the preference of the people we interviewed whether they liked reading buddies better. Ruby said no. The final thing we asked Ruby was if she liked being an older or younger buddy. She said being a younger buddy is better because you can look up to your buddy.

The other eighth grader Sydney said she likes her buddy because he is funny. Her favorite thing to do with her buddy is coloring because it is calming and fun. Her least favorite thing to do with her buddy helping her buddy with work because she is always correcting it. Sydney thinks it would be fun to have a snack party. She does not like reading buddies as much as buddies because reading buddies is limited in activities with your buddy to only reading.

The seventh graders we interviewed (Lucy, Sam, Eli, and Ben) have third grade buddies. Ben likes buddies because they get into funny arguments with each other. Lucy likes buddies because we get to hang out with other grades and skip parts of the academic learning. “My buddy is cool” Sam said. Eli was the only seventh grader that we interviewed that dislikes buddies. Although Eli likes his buddy, he does not like the activities we do with our buddies (reading for example). “I like the idea though,” Eli said.

Both Ben and Lucy’s favorite activity to do with buddies is reading. “My buddy will sometimes point out things in the book that they think are funny,” Lucy said. Eli’s favorite thing to do is art projects, but on the other hand, Sam has no favorite activity. “Kind of boring” Sam said. Nobody liked academic activities like reading or math games. Ben dislikes having two buddies, he wants one to himself. Lucy said she does not like playing games on iPads, “It’s not really interactive,” Lucy said.

We asked the seventh graders, “what would you want to do with your buddy if you could choose?” Most of the seventh graders we interviewed wanted to go outside with their buddy, but Lucy wanted to have more of a variety of options like crafts or computer games.

Reading buddies or the buddies we have now? Ben likes them both equally. When Eli was younger, he liked reading buddies better. Sam and Lucy both likes the buddies we have now better.

Did you like being the older buddy or the younger buddy better? Eli liked being younger because he said, “It was more interesting.” Ben and Lucy both like being an older buddy, with Lucy stating that she likes “setting a good example for her little buddy, she was scared when she was little.”

That was what the middle schoolers thoughts about buddies, but what do the 3rd graders think?

The third graders that we interviewed: Caleb, Brooke, Mason, and Olivia have seventh grade buddies who they enjoy being around a lot. They all have their favorite things that they have done with their buddies. Caleb says that he enjoys playing soccer with his buddy Liam, Brooke says that she enjoys playing tag with her buddies Ingrid and Maya, Mason says that he likes playing kickball with his buddy Max, and Olivia says that she likes playing tag with her buddy Olivia.

Our second question was if there was anything new that they would want to do with the seventh graders. They said yet again that they would want to play sports with their buddy. For example, Caleb said that he wants to play a basketball game with Liam. The third question that we asked them was if they had anything that they do not enjoy doing with their buddy. Caleb said that he doesn’t like tag, Brooke said that she does not like playing basketball, Mason said that he does not like making paper airplanes, and Olivia did not know what she did not like doing.

Our fourth question had a strong and conclusive response. The question that we asked them was if they would rather have reading buddies? Everyone said no and gave no reason. Our fifth and final question is if they prefer being inside or outside? Three to four said that they preferred being outside to inside.

Then, we interviewed Alexandra and Kiley. These third graders thought it was better to be inside with their buddies because it is really cold and rainy this time of year and because playing games – specifically board games and Uno – are a lot more fun than tag. In Alexandra’s perspective, the game tag can get boring really quickly. Anybody else agree with Alexandra?

A little debate occurred when Kiley said she enjoyed reading buddies more than the type of buddies we do now. Kiley explained how she likes reading and wishes reading with her buddy was an option. Alexandra disagrees with Kiley because she likes having different things to do than reading with a buddy recurringly.

Even with all of these unique answers, we can tell that most people would love to do an art project with their buddy! What do you think about buddies? Do you want to do an art project, or would you like to go outside with your buddy?