SCHOOL MENTORING PROGRAM EARNS HIGHEST AWARD
Glen Rock Gazette - 11/10/2017
Glen Rock High School's Pathways for Exceptional Children has received First Place High School in the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office "Be Kind Award", which recognizes programs that promote acceptance and tolerance. The program develops high school student mentors to work with elementary special needs children.
The program was originated by Melinda Jennis, mother of an autistic child, to fill a void she recognized in the social lives of the younger children. Jennis' training creates empathy opportunities for our high school students so they are best equipped to work with students with disabilities such as Autism or Down's syndrome. In turn, students develop social programs for the younger children. Whether bowling, game playing or creating arts and crafts, the true magic of the program is the bonding that occurs between the high school students and their elementary counterparts.
Both groups of students have benefited tremendously from this program. The younger students look forward to the opportunities to socialize with others while developing new friendships. The high school volunteers have learned compassion, empathy and a deeper respect for differences. Additionally, many of our students have developed a passion for special education students, which has led them to related career paths when studying in college. Glen Rock High School currently has 55 trained mentors.
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