Oliver Ott | Reporter
Once a month, Peer Pals bridges the gap between Avon High School’s Life Skills classes and other students. When some students lack the social skills to fit in with the crowd, the Peer Pals come in to help fill the space that their companions may have.
“Peer Pals is a club that connects the students in the certificate track or non-traditional graduation track and students who have more severe mental and emotional and physical disabilities with the larger high school community,” club sponsor Abigail Neal said.
The Life Skills students have a majority of their classes in the downstairs D Hall. The Peer Pals club works to bring the special education students closer to the students who are on traditional diploma tracks.
“We want them to feel like they’re a part of the larger Avon High School community,” Neal said.
Typical meetings include some type of craft or game, sometimes both, in order to work on socialization and fine motor skills. Sometimes, snacks will be provided. Once a semester, the Peer Pals meet with Interact Club and have a meeting where the Interact members bring in carnival games like corn hole and bowling to play with the Pals.
Sophomore and Peer Pals officer Lina Im refers to the club members as “pals” and “companions.” Im said that meetings consist of spending time with the pals and making sure they have fun.
The club mostly involves the members hanging out and getting to know each other. According to Neal, the club has a lot of members that are also Peer Tutors so that they can continue to interact with the Pals outside of the club.
“Some people get uncomfortable seeing someone in a wheelchair, in real life or outside of school, and learning how to appropriately interact with someone with disabilities [or] someone who might be different than you is important,” Neal said.
Sophomore Brittany Crabtree is also an officer of Peer Pals, which meets on the second Tuesday of every month in Neal’s room, E215.
“We just really want them to feel comfortable around us and the school,” Crabtree said.