NEWS: Peer Assisted Classes Benefit All Students

(Photo by Isabela Roldan)

(Photo by Isabela Roldan)

By Isabela Roldan – Staff Reporter

Peer Assisted Physical Education, Peer Assisted Culinary and Nutrition, and Peer Assisted Music classes have welcomed back students for the new year.

Peer Assisted Physical Education’s main focus is fitness and working alongside  students who need assistive physical education.

“Working with special needs students is different from other students,” junior and peer assistant Zach Bender said. “You can learn many things from them that you wouldn’t learn from other students.”

Prerequisites for Peer Assisted P.E. are Physical Education 2 or Physical Education 2B. Prerequisites for Peer Assisted Culinary and Nutrition are Culinary and Nutrition/Exploring Food and Nutrition.

Peer Assisted Music requires students to have taken any previous music class. All classes are worth a half credit each.

These classes are available to provide valuable teaching examples to students interested in going into careers related to teaching and health care. Peer Assisted classes also strengthen students’ communication skills.   

“The best moments in this class would be when all of the students love the food they just made,” junior and Culinary and Nutrition peer assistant Abby Williamson said.

Students in the Peer Assisted Physical Education class, like regular Physical Education classes, participate in activities such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, frisbee, running, and joining their peers in the fitness room. These activities, however, are modified to fit the needs and skill level of the special education students.

Peer Assisted Culinary and Nutrition class allows students needing assistive help to create delicious dishes alongside peers. Students enjoy making meals such as muffins, pancakes, apple crisp, and more.

Peer Assisted Music allows students to work alongside students needing assistive music. It also provides valuable teaching lessons for peer assistant students interested in pursuing a career in music therapy.

“I think this class is helpful to the students because it shows that other kids care about them and it makes them feel appreciated,” junior and peer assistant Briana Marshall said.

All peer assistants learn said they have learned about friendship, treating others with respect, and compassion.

“We have many peer helpers that have a gift for working and caring for individuals with needs, and will make a difference in the world as they grow towards their career,” Peer Assisted Physical Education teacher Ms. Paolini said.

Peer Assisted Music is open to all grades, while Peer Assisted Physical Education and Peer Assisted Culinary and Nutrition are open to any sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in working alongside students needing assistive education.

“Joining peer assist sounds like a great way to get to know and interact with more people in the school,” junior Maggie Sullivan said.

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