All about Schreiber Buddies Club and the INVEST program

All about Schreiber Buddies Club and the INVEST program

Mikayla Schwartz, Staff Writer

The Schreiber Buddies Club was recently created at Schreiber High School.  Founded by freshman Abby Hagerty, the club collaborates with the INVEST program here at school and is  advised by teacher Ms. Vaserstein.  Schreiber Buddies gives students the opportunity to get to know INVEST program students and socialize with them in a variety of ways.  Club members meet with INVEST students in the morning and/or during periods 3.1 and 5.  They participate in a variety of activities together, such as playing board games, going on the internet, eating lunch together, and more.  Most importantly, students engage in conversation with the INVEST students and discuss topics, such as hobbies and interests.  Eventually, club members hope to be able to attend field trips with the INVEST students. 

“INVEST stands for Individuals in Need of Vocation, Education, and Social Transition Skills.  This secondary level program will prepare students for post-secondary life in supported employment.  Our focus is functional academics, development of social skills, and vocation/employment exploration,” said Ms. Vaserstein.  “We look for every possible way to utilize mainstream experiences at Schreiber to provide opportunities for our students to practice new skills in a supportive environment.  This includes practicing social skills.  When Abigail Hagerty presented this club plan, it seemed like a very natural pairing.  I was more than happy to join as supervisor.”

While this club will be beneficial for the INVEST kids, it will also be rewarding for its members, as well as the overall Port Washington community.  A primary aim of participation in the program is for club members to learn how to be more empathetic, patient, and friendly to those in the special needs community. 

 “Growing up with a brother with special needs taught me how to be more caring and empathetic.  I realized that neurodiverse individuals just want to be included in the community in the same ways as those who are neurotypical,” said freshman Abby Hagerty. 

Since one of the INVEST program’s goals is to help its members transition from high school to supported employment, many INVEST students will be working in our community.  Participating in this club is a way to facilitate inclusivity within the Port Washington community, while also allowing the INVEST students to enhance their social connections. 

Another exciting aspect of the Schreiber Buddies Club is its partnership with the Breakfast Club.  Once a month, a representative from the Breakfast Club will bring in a fun breakfast to eat in the morning with the INVEST students.  Hoping to help eliminate the hassle of trying to eat breakfast in a rush, the Breakfast Club provides students with the ability to enjoy free food while also socializing with the INVEST students. 

 “By making the Schreiber Buddies a part of the Breakfast Club, the INVEST kids will be given the opportunity to hang out in a new crowd, meet new people, and be in a safe, kind, and positive environment,” said junior Chloe Weshler, one of the leaders of the Breakfast Club. 

This club is a great opportunity for Schreiber students to learn more about the neurodiverse community, while also learning more about themselves.  

“I joined the Schreiber Buddies Club because it seemed like a great way to form friendships and learn about those with special needs,” said junior Hayden Lundberg.  

Students will be able to have fun while forming special connections with other Schreiber students, making this club a valuable addition to Schreiber.