Boarding
Day in the Life

Boarder Buddy Program

The purpose of the Boarder Buddy Family Program is to offer residents a family experience while they are away from their own families. Buddy families maintain close, friendly contact with the girls, making them feel comfortable while gaining understanding of their many new experiences at the school. Relationships are rooted in outings, family dinners at the Boarder Buddy family home, attendance at athletic events, performances, and more. 
 
For some of the girls, home is quite a distance away and it can be quite lonely to see day classmates greeting family after school events and functions. Boarder Buddy Families often fill that void.  For all of our residents, having a surrogate family who cares and supports their individual accomplishments makes a significant difference in the quality of their Hockaday experience.
 
Beginning in 2015, we launched a new Lower School Boarder Buddies program. In an effort to help new Form I residents feel more connected to the greater community and for our Lower School students to feel more connected to the Residence Life community, each homeroom class or grade level “adopted” a Form I resident for the year. Every Day 2 of our six day rotation, the “boarder buddy” joins their designated Lower School homeroom for their morning meetings. Throughout the year, classes do special things for their boarder (i.e. cards or treats on her birthday, a visit to her room in the residence department, or possibly organizing an optional class family dinner with her in the dining hall).
 
We are fortunate to have such a diverse residential family and to provide opportunities for all grades, faculty and staff and members of the larger Hockaday community to learn from each resident’s background and life experience. 


From the family ...

My favorite memory of Hallie was the week she stayed with us for Thanksgiving. It was such a joy to share this holiday and introduce her to Thanksgiving dinner, our crazy dogs, and even trimming the Christmas tree. For my 8-year-old daughter who is an only child, it was like having a big sister in the house. I learned so much from Hallie about her childhood, family, and traditions. Hallie is an incredible pianist, and our house sounded like a concert when Hallie practiced every day.
 
There is immense value in being a boarder buddy. The friendship you forge with a sweet child is priceless. The boarders stay busy and often months will pass without hearing from them. The academics and student activities keep them occupied, but at the end of the day, you know that if you are needed, they will call. After all, if this were your daughter in a far-away land, wouldn’t you want a family to open their heart to her? – Dawn Grove

From the student ...

To me and my host mom, the Boarder Buddy Family Program is about mutual mentorship and the sharing of culture. When I first arrived at Hockaday as a freshman, I was very lucky to be paired up with the best host family I could ask for. Over the past three years, the Groves made Dallas a home away from home for me, and I have come to see them as family. One of my happiest memories was celebrating Thanksgiving with them my sophomore year. My parents are not festive in any way, so it was a fascinating experience to help my host family prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from scratch, and stuff ourselves with cold turkey sandwiches the next day while decorating a 14-foot-tall Christmas tree together. I’m beyond thankful for everything they’ve done for me, and I believe the relationship we built during my time at Hockaday will last a lifetime. – Hallie Gu (Class of 2016)


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