The Buddy Program began in 1987 and has become an essential part of our community.
Most schools in Fresno County do not have the facilities to offer state-of-the-art, accessible physical and artistic programs during the school day. Through the Buddy Program, partnering schools are given the opportunity to capitalize on the expertise and space of the Break the Barriers Ability Center. School classes come biweekly for a free, one hour class, where children in special education “buddy up” with their peers in regular education. Today, 1,830 students participate in the Buddy Program to experience gymnastics, dance, and martial arts in an inclusive environment. The goal is to help students look beyond what they think they see and discover the potential of their buddies. We also hope that students will develop strong bonds that they will take back to their school campuses. For more information, call (559) 432-6292.
From Carmie to Deby and Steve to Kathy to the whole BTB family, it is in the DNA that you are first valued as a human being. And when you feel you are valued, anything is possible.Retired Adaptive Physical Education Teacher, FUSD & California State University, Fresno
We strive to prepare our staff to effectively work with and teach children of all abilities to be in a class with other students. All staff are required to attend workshops where they:
- Trained in an ability awareness class with co-founder, Deby Hergenrader
- Familiarized with ASD
- Learn how to use PECs, a structured schedule, social stories, and the Timed Timer
- Co-teach spectrum classes with a trained staff member
Thank you to our sponsors