Pals and Peers Program

Crossroads Park teachers Megan Norris and Sarah Sadler are not only colleagues, but long-time friends as well.  The pair grew up together in northwest Iowa and have continued to be the best of friends now as teachers in the same WDMCS school.

This summer the two are teaming up together for the Pals and Peers program.  The program is for special education students, and their peers.  The peers are friends or classmates from school who help assist the pals with crafts, snacks, and games.  The program is offered four weeks out of the summer, meeting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Each week is given a different theme examples being an ocean theme or a beach theme.

The students make crafts and snacks that tie into the theme.  The activities are both fun and educational for the students to learn life and social skills.  During ocean week the students made clams out of cookies and frosting, and “fish sticks” made out of pretzel sticks, chocolate, and goldfish crackers.  The students also made starfish with tissue paper as a craft, and a fish from a CD.

Norris started teaching in the summer program five years ago, however, the program has been running for fifteen plus years.  “Having peers here is so good for the kids,” Norris said.  She added how great the peers have been working with their pals and it makes the program run smoothly and allow all students to have fun. “It is so fun to work and collaborate with Megan and do something laid back and see the students grow,” Saddler said.  “It’s also fun to see some of my former students in a peer role,” she said.

 

Students in the Pals and Peers program made "fish sticks" as a snack during ocean week.

Students in the Pals and Peers program made “fish sticks” as a snack during ocean week.

The clams the students created made from cookies and frosting.

The clams the students created made from cookies and frosting.