CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — Robin Aldridge was a longtime special education teacher, advocate, and friend. Her daughter Mani, a student at CHS, loved the arts – drawing, dance, music, and drama.

In their honor, Charlottesville and Albemarle County Parks and Recreation have partnered to create Robin and Mani’s All Buddy Camp for rising kindergartners with disabilities (“Little Buddies”) who are paired with local teens (“Big Buddies”) in a week long summer camp that is free to campers and teen volunteers. Big Buddies work one on one with each other for the entire week of All Buddy Camp.

2017 celebrates the third summer of Robin and Mani’s All Buddy Camp. Jackson-Via Elementary School hosts All Buddy Camp Monday, June 19th through Friday, June 23rd.

“We are looking forward to a fun-filled week complete with a visit from a petting zoo, trips to PB&J and the Music Resource Center to record our camp song, and a tour of the firehouse. We’ll end on a wet and wonderful note – Forest Hills Spray Park and a party for campers and their families – Robin and Mani would have had a blast!” said Sarah Blech, Therapeutic Recreation Manager with Parks and Recreation.

About Robin and Mani Aldridge

Robin and Mani were a mother and daughter who were tragically and prematurely lost to all of us who knew and loved them. Robin was a devoted and loyal mother, daughter, friend and gifted special needs preschool teacher. Mani was a high school student with a zest for all life had to offer. They both loved music, art and dance.

Each summer Robin taught a special needs preschool class in Albemarle County and Mani was always right there with her, helping in the classroom. Robin had a passion for helping young children acquire the social skills and problem solving skills they would need to get along with one another at school and in life. When Mani was in preschool, friends and family would often ask her about her day at school and about friends she played with. Mani always told us “All buddy my friend, every day.”