The launch of the AIM Buddy Project research study got off to a great start this fall.
After two years of research and pilot testing AIM’s program materials and evaluation tools, the year-long research study began in almost 100 MA classrooms during the first week of October.
Launching the study presented some challenges for the AIM research team. But they quickly overcame scheduling, technological, and logistical barriers and began implementing AIM buddy prep sessions and topic sessions in classrooms in early November. By mid-December, topic sessions for empathy, honesty, and generosity were already being implemented in schools!
Buddy engagement has been robust. Buddy pairs are enthusiastically participating in thoughtful topic discussions and reflections during and after the sessions.
Here is a sample of the types of comments we have been hearing from the buddies:
- After the Training the Buddies session, one girl explained how she was able to share her feelings better after the training session.
- After the Meet & Greet session, 2nd grade students talked about their buddies, “We have so much in common . . . oh my gosh, I can’t even begin to tell you!” and “I had dreams about my buddy.”
- After the Read and Talk session on empathy, one buddy pair wanted to continue exploring the topic: “Can we google empathy now?”
Buddy pairs are also having fun together! In this photo, little buddies are getting ready for a Thanksgiving Meet & Greet session with their big buddies.
Once schools are back in session in January, our research teams will be back in the classrooms assisting implementation and compiling data on all five AIM topics.
Happy New Year from the AIM team!