SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) --At a time when bullying has become an epidemic among school-aged children Sanger High School is making sure everyone is feeling the love.
The Apaches are now joining a global movement aimed at promoting inclusion. Throughout thousands of schools worldwide Best Buddies pairs general ED students with students who have special needs.
"The point is to pair these kids up to see there's beauty in their differences and we just love each other," said Feleena Sutton, Best Buddies Area Director.
Best Buddies made its way to the Central Valley last November and already five schools are involved; five more are in the process of developing their programs.
"Just demonstrate to the Valley the power that we have in numbers," said Sutton.
"Our town is very much a family already. We are the Apaches. On Friday night you'll find our entire town at these football game so we just wanted to build another layer of inclusiveness," said Briana Esqueda, Sanger High School Teacher.
"It's really important that we work on those friendships and including everyone in our school community," said Natalie Boust, junior.
Boust and her Best Buddy Cameron are on varsity cheer together. They have known each other for years, so they say the Best Buddy Program came natural.
"She's just like, you know, the shining light and everyone's so excited to see her," said Boust.
"We've had one on one friendships built and that's been really cool to watch. They've become more confident as individuals and I've gotten to know them personally which has been cool," said Jenna Heinrichs, senior.
Through the program they are not only getting to meet their new best friend but they are also developing leadership skills.
"Through planning events, planning lunch meetings, and just getting together and trying to organize the club as well," said Esqueda.
The goal is to have the program on every campus from middle school to college Valley wide.