Under the Buddy Interaction programme, students from different age groups are paired with each other for a year, and work as a team to help each other. This is a very useful way to encourage social inclusion and create a culture of encouragement in the school. All students involved get to build social networks beyond their own classroom and learn important interpersonal skills. Students are paired together keeping in mind their personalities, unique needs and competencies. Shared activities during buddy interactions may include academic help like reading practice, reaching IEP goals or other coursework help, and also help with social settings. A student new to the school can settle in faster with the help of a supportive buddy. In case of situations like bullying the student may feel more comfortable turning to someone closer to their own age, but old enough to offer help or mediate. The programme enhances positive behaviors in both the older and the younger buddies. The program gives the older ‘buddy’ a sense of responsibility, accountability and competence. It hones empathy and allows for crucial self-exploration, self-definition and meaningful social interaction, especially vital to middle-schoolers and teenagers.