Best Buddies Club at Jordan High School will be hosting an "Art for Inclusion: 4th Annual Jordan High School Best Buddies Art Show and Sale" next Friday, April 28, at the Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA). 

Best Buddies is an international, nonprofit organization that provides resources for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to form friendships and develop professional skills for future employment.

Schools around the globe incorporate the organization's program as student clubs, and Jordan High School in Long Beach is one of many Best Buddies Clubs available in Southern California, according to Annee Boyer, founder and advisor of the Jordan High School Best Buddies Club.

The club incorporates art projects and group outings as part of its team building and character growth processes, according to Boyer.

Field trips that the group has participated in this school year include Disneyland, bowling and whale watching, and Boyer said she hopes to incorporate more diverse outings into their schedule before the school year ends.

The club affords the trips by fundraising and their biggest fundraiser event of the year is the upcoming MoLAA art show.

"They are always excited when they do art," Stephanie Osborne, Jordan High School teacher and assistant advisor for the Best Buddies Club, said about the students. "The level of pride and having their art shown to the public in that space is incredible."

The students work on art work all year for the event; this is the fourth consecutive year the show has been mounted.  

Osborne added that the event is special because the students have the opportunity to showcase their artwork to friends and family, and the reaction of the parents is sometimes more emotional than the students'.

"Being told year after year about what your child can't do — and then seeing what they can — is amazing," Osborne said.

Boyer added that the relationships the students form during their time at Best Buddies Club builds confidence within themselves — and that can mean positive things for the rest of their high school experience.

The event takes place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, at MoLAA. The event is free and artwork completed by the students will be for sale at a set donation for each piece.

The event also will include a show by Latin American dance students from Jordan High School as well as $1 tacos.

For more information about the club or the MoLAA art show, email aboyer@lbschools.net.

Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at sstutzman@gazettes.com.

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