Amigos School Program
The Amigos program uses peer support and mentorship through matching:
Amigos - students who face barriers to inclusion, together with
Amigo Connectors - students who are well connected and supportive of others.
The Amigos program is flexible and can be delivered in a manner to meet the needs that exist within the culture of your school.
The 4 key guiding principles to keep in mind are:
- Focus on equality and age appropriateness
- Differences are celebrated
- All students participate fully
- Student leaders have strong support from educators
How it works
The Amigos program creates opportunities for youth, with and without intellectual disabilities, to meet, spend meaningful time together and form relationships. An Amigo, and Amigo connector are identified and matched as an Amigo pair.
The pair of students meet once a week during lunch. During the early weeks of the program, there are planned interactive activities and games to help the students get to know their own Amigo, as well as other Amigos in the program.
As the weeks progress, the pair is encouraged to find activities on their own to participate in. This could be as simple as going to the cafeteria together to eat lunch, or could be joining a club together, playing sports in the gym or going for a walk. The emphasis is on developing social skills, getting involved in other areas of their school and meeting new friends.