Binghamton Buddies serve students in local schools
March 9, 2020
By Gillian Kenah
Binghamton Buddies is a student organization that connects Binghamton University students with Broome-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) students in the greater Binghamton area. BOCES hosts educational programs for kindergarten through 12th-grade students who have been removed from public schools for behavioral, social and academic concerns.
Many of these students have suffered from trauma at young ages, and as a result, these children require more attention in the classroom. President of Binghamton Buddies, Anna Pearlman, a sophomore majoring in mathematical sciences, said about 50 volunteers visit schools such as Owego Elementary School, Linnaeus West Elementary School, Olmsted Elementary School and West Learning Center once a week.
“We help the students with their work, we play with them during their free time, and most importantly, we act as a friend and a support system for them,” Pearlman said. “The students in these classrooms really look forward to our visits each week, and seeing their smiles when we walk into the classroom makes what we do completely worth it!”
Pearlman adds that student volunteers are often inspired by their work in these schools and their participation prepares them for future careers as educators.
“Going to the classroom once a week honestly isn’t enough, I love every single moment of being with the kids,” Huplosky said. “They’ve made me want to be a math teacher and I am so thankful to get to have this experience in my college life."
However, many students volunteer simply because they love to work with children, such as Halle Rogoff, a sophomore double-majoring in psychology and philosophy, politics and law.
“Volunteering in the classroom is always the highlight of my week,” Rogoff said. “I have been with the same group of kids for over a year now and I love how much of an impact we have been able to make. Binghamton Buddies is my favorite club at Binghamton [University]!"
Photo: (left to right) Halle Rogoff, a sophomore double-majoring in psychology and philosophy, politics and law, Anna Pearlman, a sophomore majoring in mathematical sciences and Jessica Huplosky, a sophomore majoring in mathematical sciences, work with students at Owego Elementary School.