Student organization gives back to local elementary SPED teachers
During the height of the pandemic, the Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) continued to interact in its traditional advocacy efforts for students with disabilities but also became a support network for the Georgia Southern University students who were members of the group as well.
“Sometimes we just found ourselves talking about our own struggles after the business meetings were over,” said SCEC President Abigail Walker.
It was during their conversations about the efforts to support students with disabilities that one of the organization’s members, Kahli Crews, suggested a project that led the group to the decision that special education teachers needed to be “shown some love,” as Walker explained.
Work began to craft a special ‘thank you’ to the special education teachers and paraprofessionals in Bulloch County Schools, where the special education program is offered at the Statesboro Campus of Georgia Southern. The 20-something members of the SCEC put together 70 self-care kits for the nine elementary schools in the county.
“Each kit included a pencil bag, journal, candle, scrunchie or socks, and a personalized card,” said Walker. “It was important that we each hand wrote a note of thanks to these teachers who are not known by all but work so hard for our students with disabilities and inspire us as future teachers.”
Baskets were delivered in late April to the nine schools. Walker, a senior special education major, says that while she is graduating in the spring, the tradition will continue as the SCEC plans to provide recognition each semester to special education teachers, next focusing on the local middle and then high schools.
The SCEC, advised by assistant professor of special education Karin Fisher, Ph.D., is the student affiliate of the national Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Members of the SCEC are taught about advocacy efforts for individuals with disabilities on the local, state and national levels from local programming to federal laws that affect students with disabilities.
“The SCEC has helped to keep us informed about what we can do to advocate for our students with disabilities, but also it provides us with a support network,” said Walker. “We feed off of each other’s energy and are passionate about the children we are going to serve. The SCEC is always looking for ways to make a difference for students who need us, but also engage with the local community who mentor and shape us.”
For more information about SCEC contact Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted in Student Highlights