Rolling Into The Friendship Club

Best Buddies and Bocce


Ava Allday, Staff Writer


Best Buddies is a club that builds one on one friendships between people with and without disabilities. Established in 2019, this program helps create a more inclusive environment. No matter grade or classes, the club offers social interactions that are welcoming to all.

According to Mrs. Leech, Best Buddies adviser, students can gain self-confidence, self-esteem, and build friendships dealing with shared interests, and experiences. Best Buddies include activities like Friendsgiving, gym class,

lunch with friends, shopping, game/movie night, t-shirt making, cooking, decorating holiday themed parties, Friendship WalkInclusion, and cheering on our bocce team friends in the stands.

“ I joined Best Buddies because I watched a video on it last year and fell in love with the mission it was pursuing. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, so I thought maybe this would inspire me to pursue special education, and well, it did,” said freshman Natalya Cafasso, “ I have struggled a lot in my life and I wanted other children with other needs to know they are never alone and always have a friend there for them.”

Best Buddies is also known as the Friendship Club, which teaches you all about kindness. Being kind is such an important thing that sadly many people don’t do. It’s making the world a better place by promoting friendship and kindness.

“Best Buddies has taught me a lot. It also allowed me to learn more about people who I might not have talked to before and make some amazing new friendships, ” said Cafasso.

If you want to join the Best Buddies program you can sign up through the Best Buddies website.

Best Buddies also has a friendship walk coming up on April 24th. If you are interested in learning more about Best Buddies or walking for inclusion, you should definitely sign up! You can contact Mrs. Leech or Natalya Cafasso if you’re interested in going.

Another way you can get involved in the Best Buddies Program through    Bocce.

Bocce is an Italian game similar to lawn bowling, but played on a shorter, narrower green.Bocce is called a Unified Sport and is governed by Special Olympics of Pennsylvania (SOPA)  Here is definition of Unified Sports:

Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.  Young people with disabilities do not often get a chance to play on their school sports teams. More and more U.S. states are adopting the Unified Sports approach that the Special Olympics pioneered.

Bocce has been going on here at Knoch for three years. The team has two three year members:  Natalie and Emily Gall.

Practices are held twice a week after school for the months of December through March. The team usually has four matches- two away and two home.  At the end of the season, there are the 

” My favorite memories from being on the Bocce team is the bus rides to away games.” -Samantha Lawson

strict playoffs, League Championships, and the State championship.  This season Knoch Bocce’s record was three wins and one loss and were the silver medalists at the District playoffs. 

“ My favorite memory is definitely our day at the playoffs and winning the silver medal. Seeing how excited everyone was, especially Sammy, was just a moment that made me so happy to be a part of the team,” said senior Sophie Brandon.

If you’re interested in joining the Bocce team contact Mrs.Leech or Mrs. Bocci.

“ You should join Bocce, it’s fun,” said sophomore Austin Tallarico.

“I am so proud of our team this year!  They all worked really hard together and became good friends,” said Mrs. Bocci.