The Special Buddies program is a unique program for children with moderate to severe special needs whose parents are attending the convention. Special Buddies staff and volunteers are equipped with the heart and the training to faithfully serve these dynamic individuals and their families.
Available on a case-by-case basis as space is available, Special Buddies reserves the right to recommend other options, possibly including the Children’s Program, if an individual does not fall within the parameters of the Special Buddies program.
The Special Buddies program will offer Bible-based curriculum—with music, crafts, and videos—in an environment with a low staff-to-student ratio. There are a limited number of spaces available for medically fragile children. A nurse will be on duty at all times.
Special Buddies Program Details
Cost: $20 per day
Hours: Friday – 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday – 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ages: 4 through 25 (chronological age)
Have a heart for children with special needs? Volunteers are always welcome!
Special Buddies FAQs
The answer depends to some degree on the individual needs of the children who register. Still in its original form, the plan is as follows:
Self-Contained – The room will have volunteers who are screened based on their experience with—as well as their heart for—special-needs children. They will have contacted the Special Buddies coordinator to apply as a full-time volunteer for the weekend. Self-contained children will only leave the room, supervised, for restroom breaks or at lunch when released to a parent. Teens may be a part of the volunteer staff, but trained adults, as well as an on-call nurse, will always be available for supervision.
Medically Fragile – Children who are medically fragile will be served in a self-contained room designated for their care. The room will have a volunteer staff that will include at least one nurse at all times. Teens may be in the room at times to serve as volunteers, but other children will not be in the room, in order to avoid the possibility of inadvertent spontaneous behavior that could put the medically fragile children at risk for injury. The volunteer staff will not administer any medications or tube feedings to children in this room. Parents will be asked to return to the room to take care of those needs. The nurses will be available for suctioning and for monitoring medical needs such as seizure activity. Refrigeration will be available for medications and feeding products, if necessary. A parent or caregiver will be able to remain in the room during the lunch hour in order to feed their child.
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