Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Peer Mentors Connect at West End

Alysa Cummings, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, reports on the following:

What do West End kindergarten and first grade students have in common with high school students? More than you might think, actually…

That’s what special education teachers Maria Gassner, Dawn Ensign and speech therapist Karen Capozzi are discovering as they administer a peer mentoring program this spring.

Twice a month, from March through June, members of a new high school special needs class are getting on a bus to travel to West End School to interact with younger students in a special West End classroom.

The students’ first session together involved the teenagers pairing up with a designated younger student to make introductions and play games together. To celebrate the season, the second time the peer mentors connected, the focus was on creating a pencil holder in the shape of a lamb.

The teachers believe the encounters between the two groups of special education students are positively impacting the students’ social skills as well as their self-esteem.

1 comment:

Joseph Jones said...

I happened to "stumble" upon this second session by chance. What a positive experience! All of our students were fully engaged in the arts and crafts projects with our older students acting as leaders -- helping the younger students toward completion. It was a wonderful sight!