LABBB Collaborative 
November 2013

In This Issue

by: Patric Barbieri, LABBB Executive Director

Dear LABBB Community:


The Best Buddies programs in our schools have been thriving this year and we are proud to expand this community with students who are committed to working and collaborating with all of our programs. These groups have given our students more opportunities to socialize and be part of the larger school community. We believe our students should be educated in the least restrictive environment and it is partnerships like the Best Buddies that enhance our students' experiences.  


Many of our LABBB staff deserve a significant amount of credit for promoting these relationships and building the Best Buddies programs in our public schools; these initiatives take time and persistence to grow over the years. The outcomes are beyond words.  


LABBB wants to continue to grow programs like the Best Buddies. We have met some outstanding individuals who amaze us year after year. We are fortunate to be part of so many supportive school communities who recognize that LABBB is a significant part of their culture. 


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the LABBB Community! 




Please follow LABBB Collaborative users and hashtags:

A Message from Ben Driscoll, President of the Bedford Best Buddies Program  

Hello All Parents!

I am Ben Driscoll, the President of the Bedford Best Buddies program
that your son/daughter is participating in this year. I was fortunate enough to have met a few of you at the Match Party, and hope to at some point in the
nearby future formally introduce myself to those that I haven't met with
yet. This year has kicked off with a bang, before we even matched the
buddies we reached 110 participants (not including the LABBB students)! We
started off the year with a Bingo Party in September where the LABBB
students met all the club members. We officers were taking notes on who
organically interacted together well and came up with a rough draft of the
matches. Fast forward a two weeks, and the Halloween Dance was the next
event for all members. The newly matched pairs were able to bond, get to
know each other, and show off their dance moves. Aside from that event we
have also had the Pumpkin Decorating and Card Making Party.  This event
was filled with not only Peer Buddies and LABBB students, but also a large
amount of Associate Members. Everyone participated in making a pumpkin and later on created cards for veterans that was giving to local Veteran's
Hospital to give out on Veteran's Day. In my opinion, I think we are off
to a great start to the year. With a strong officer core (there are 9 of
us!) and a high retention and attendance rate from the members I have high
hopes for this year! If you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate
to contact me at 
[email protected] 


Hope you all are as excited as I am for this year!  


Ben Driscoll 
Bedford Best Buddies 


LABBB Upcoming Events

  • December 7th: 4th Annual Best Buddies Craft Fair, 9 - 3pm, Lexington Central Administration Building, 328 Lowell Street, Lexington, MA. Free admission, 40 plus Crafters.  We will have food being served and holiday music being sung. Please email Janet Paz at [email protected] for more information. We will also be having a coat drive along with the fair. People can bring slightly used coats to donate to the Lexington Lions Chapter.   
  • Recreation Activities: For more information please click here: LABBB Recreation. 

    • The LABBB Recreation Dept. has a new after school program that will start in January. It is a 6 week program for our 18-21 year old students.  LABBB Afterschool Recreation Transition Pilot Program. Look in the mail for more details to come in December.     

  • December 19: LABBB Parent Advisory Council Meeting.  More details to come regarding the time and location.


Arlington High Best Buddies Match Party


By Jeff Caritey, Teacher LABBB Arlington High School 




On Wednesday, November 13th, Arlington High School Best Buddies Chapter hosted a match party! It was a huge success as more than half of the AHS LABBB students attended with their parents, as well as close to twenty Arlington High School students with their parents. This was the best turnout to date! It was a great night that allowed buddies to interact with each other, connect with each other's families and exchange contact information. The night also included time for students to dance and have fun while parents were able to socialize.

Arlington High School Best Buddies has truly grown over the past few years as they host monthly events during the school day in addition to attending after school activities. It was an overall fantastic evening! We would like to thank the Arlington High Community for all their continued support!



LABBB John Glenn Middle School Geography Project


By Katrina Wright, Teacher, LABBB JGMS 


We just finished learning about the 5 Themes of Geography.  We all did a project on a country. The themes are Movement, Region, Human-Environment Interaction, Location and Place. We learned about Italy, Korea, Greece, Brazil, England, China and Spain. We also liked singing along to the  "5 Themes of Geography Rap" we watched on It was a lot of fun!




Join the Burlington Best Buddies for our November Activity 



  • The Best Buddies Burlington Organization is collecting any nonperishable goods to donate to the Burlington Food Pantry for Thanksgiving. There will be boxes for donated items in the main office at Burlington High.
  • Together, BHS and LABBB students will create decorative baskets to fill up with these items for the Food Pantry.


Anyone is welcome to donate!

Above is a picture from our October activity  


  • Canned vegetables (corn, potatoes, green beans, etc.)
  • Canned gravy/ gravy packets
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Cranberry sauce with fruit (whole berry)
  • Pie filling
  • Pie crust
  • Quick breads
  • Cream of mushroom soup
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • French's fried onions (original)
  • Boxes of potato buds
  • Boxes of stuffing



2013 LABBB Parent Advisory Council (PAC)



By: Donna Goodell, Program Director and Theresa LeBlanc, Vocational Counselor


LABBB's newly structured Parent Advisory Council (PAC) met on Thursday, November 14. It was a great meeting with 22 parents turning out for the PAC meeting portion of the night. Parents at the meeting represented those who have children in the elementary and high school LABBB programs from many districts. The meeting was rich with conversation about how parents can connect and support one another along the journey of their children's education and preparation for adulthood.


In addition, the group talked about ways that LABBB could improve communication, both when new parents join our family, as well as during processes of change and evolution. It was helpful to hear the feedback and will certainly influence administrators' thought process as we move forward in our continuous evolutionary process of growth and improvement.


The second half of the night featured guest presenter, Michael Weiner, who spoke to a larger group of 26 parents about a general "blue print" as to what parents should be considering in the areas of legal, financial, vocational, social, recreation, healthcare and housing, as their children with disabilities approach age 22.

The next Parent Advisory Council meeting will be held on Thursday, December 19, 2013. The time and place will be announced in the coming weeks, so please keep your eye out for the email blast as well as the announcement on LABBB's website, We look forward to seeing many parents from our elementary, middle and high school programs there!



Vocational Department Updates



By: Chris Holet, Vocational Coordinator 


The LABBB Vocational Department is off to a wonderful start for the school year. As part of our mission, LABBB Collaborative strives to cultivate an environment where students can reach their full potential through participation in high quality programs that integrate academic, social, recreational, and vocational services and enable participation in the least restrictive environment.  LABBB remains dedicated to this mission.


In alignment with this mission, the department is growing and offering new work site opportunities for our students.  A recent example of this is our new partnership with the Habitat ReStore.  The ReStore is a non-profit retail outlet, open to the public, specializing in the resale of quality, new and previously owned furniture, appliances, home goods, building materials and more.  Students have the opportunity to learn and integrate numerous practical and professional competencies while working alongside other staff members. Some of the job duties include customer service, receiving and processing donations, cleaning and identifying products, minor repairs, and testing appliances.


All of our students who participate at this work site, and all of LABBB's work sites, can develop and integrate social pragmatics, self advocacy, independent worker traits, and work ethic, among other practical life skills.  LABBB continues to be the vanguard of vocational and transitional skills development, and strives to continue its growth through mutual partnerships such as the Habitat ReStore.  We would like to thank the Habitat ReStore and the students who are embarking on this new skill development and vocational opportunity.  


In order to continue to better serve our students, we are always looking for additional vocational opportunities.  If you have, or know of a potential opportunity, or would like to discuss future opportunities for our students to participate in a work environment, please let us know.  Please contact us directly at [email protected].


Please also take a moment to check out our LABBB Vocational Department blog, Click on this link to view: LABBB Vocational Blog












Updated LABBB School Cancellation



Dear LABBB Community:


We want to inform you of our new high school cancellation procedure. This will not be a change for our LABBB Elementary and Middle school programs.


For many years, most of our high school programs have followed Lexington Public Schools' cancellations. We put this policy into practice many years ago to coordinate our vocational program. Our vocational program is centralized through Lexington High School and this continues to work very efficiently.


This policy has been confusing for many, but it was our best attempt to make our educational and vocational sites operate efficiently. This year we are going to implement a new procedure based on feedback that we have received from our parents and districts.


Our new school cancellation procedure is as follows:


Starting immediately, all of our high school programs will follow the cancellations of the town where they are located. If Lexington Public Schools cancels school, and our other LABBB districts are open, our programs in those towns will now be open.


For example, if Lexington Public Schools is cancelled and Bedford Public Schools is open, our LABBB Bedford High School Program will be open. This will also hold true for our programs in Belmont, Burlington, Arlington, and Career Directions at Minuteman Tech High School.


As you know, towns will not transport your son or daughter if your town has cancelled school, but parents are welcomed to drive their son or daughter to school if that student's school is open.


If Lexington cancels school, and your son or daughter was scheduled to be transported to Lexington for work, you are also welcomed to drive them to their respective school if that district is open.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call.



Labbb Collaborative Central Offices | (339) 222-5615|
LABBB Contacts
281 Winter Street
Waltham, MA 02451

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