First, I contacted the teacher who is in charge of the student section and school spirit and all of that to figure out a few things. This included: finding out a basketball game that wouldn't be too crowded, when to arrive before it got too busy, and to ask if she knew any kids who would be interested in being buddies for this event.
Next, I created a flyer to send out to parents. I have an email list of the students in our program and students who have expressed an interest in this club. I passed these out at our last event, via email, and throughout the building. I send out a LOT of reminders! I also asked for aide support. No matter how many buddies I get for an event, I need to make sure I have at least a few staff members on hand who can help with emergencies or behavior situations.
Finally, game day! I met students at the ticket booth where their parents dropped them off. I got cell phone numbers from parents so that I could text at the beginning of the 4th quarter, because even with an approximate end time, basketball games are unpredictable as to when they will actually end.
My aides and I were able to pair up some students with buddies and we all sat in the student section together. The gen ed kids were awesome and jumped around, interacting with all of our special education students who were there. The cheerleaders threw out t-shirts and I'm almost positive that they all went to our special kids! The concession stand was also a huge hit (I told parents to send in money if they would want to purchase anything.)
Pick up time is where it gets a little crazy! I assigned each aide a couple of kids, and parents know that they need to check out with me before taking their child. Everyone was picked up (on time!) and went home with the right people, so I call that a success in my book :)
I love doing these events and seeing my students interact as typical high school students. They have a blast too! Feel free to contact me if you'd like to see the flyer or if you have any other questions about setting up an event like this!