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Linking Up! Social Opportunities for Children and Teens with Hearing Loss

Clarke Buddies
For Students who are deaf or hard of hearing, Ages 8-17


The Clarke Buddies Program, for students who are deaf or hard of hearing ages 8-17 is gearing up for another amazing year! This program is a fun opportunity to meet, get to know, and connect on a regular basis with other kids who are deaf or hard of hearing! At our in-person meet-ups, you will be sharing advice and experiences, participate in team building activities, and build a sense of community. Older students can choose to be mentors and gain leadership and community experience while being a role model to a younger student.


View recent photos from Linking Up! events.

Who?

This program is for students with hearing loss ages 8-17 who are able to travel to Northampton, MA and/or Canton, MA for in-person gatherings.

What?

Sponsored by the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, this program gives students the opportunity to strengthen a connection with other students. In-person meetings include all of the Buddies and are led by experienced teachers of the deaf and deaf adults. Meet-ups consist of organized activities and social time.

When?

Clarke Buddies will run from November 2017 through April 2018. The specific meeting dates for 2017-2018 will be added soon.

Buddies gatherings will run from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Where?

All in-person gatherings take place on Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech campuses in Northampton and Canton, Massachusetts.

What does Clarke Buddies Cost?

The fee for Clarke Buddies is $35 for three meet-ups at one location (Northampton OR Canton) and $50 for those who would like to attend all SIX meet-ups in Northampton and Canton!

Why?

The goal of the “Buddies” program is to connect students who are deaf or hard of hearing and build a sense of community. By doing this, students can reduce feelings of isolation, create a sense of support and community among students with hearing loss, raise confidence, establish new friendships, develop a sense of identity, develop leadership skills, and gain advice about situations relating to hearing loss.

Meet the Program Coordinator Northampton

Emily Plant is an itinerant teacher of the deaf in her sixth year of teaching. She has worked with a wide range of students spanning from preschool to high school and came to Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech in Northampton, MA in 2015. Emily was a facilitator at the Clarke Buddies program last year, the coordinator of Clarke's Making Connections! program, and a teacher at the Clarke Camp, leading groups of students on hikes, camping trips, social bonding exercises, and encouraging students to go out of their comfort zones to try new things. She is looking forward to kick starting this year's Buddies program and seeing both new and familiar faces! Contact Emily at buddies@clarkeschools.org.



Meet the Program Coordinator Canton

Sarah Brault is an itinerant teacher of the deaf at Clarke Boston. She completed her undergraduate degree in elementary education and child study and Spanish and her master's in education of the deaf at Smith College. Sarah has also worked children who are deaf or hard of hearing as a figure skating coach. This past July, Sarah presented at the Alexander Graham Bell Convention on self-advocacy and the importance of building social relationships. She is excited to be a part of Clarke Buddies and facilitating these opportunities for students with hearing loss to connect outside of the academic setting. Contact Sarah at buddies@clarkeschools.org.