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Student mentors help students with special needs host a winter play

During+theater+mentor+class%2C+senior+Miqueyla+Lopez+hugs+senior+Kathryn+Kerckhoff.+Lopez+has+participated+in+PE+Mentor+classes+and+cooking+mentor+classes%2C+but+this+is+her+first+time+in+the+theater+class.+%22I+learned+how+to+work+with+them+in+a+different+setting+because+in+here%2C+we+worked+on+social+skills+a+lot%2C+unlike+the+other+mentor+classes+where+we+worked+on+things+like+activeness+and+motor+skills.+It+takes+so+much+patience%2C+but+I+loved+spending+quality+time+with+them+individually%2C%22+Lopez+said.
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Student mentors help students with special needs host a winter play

During theater mentor class, senior Miqueyla Lopez hugs senior Kathryn Kerckhoff. Lopez has participated in PE Mentor classes and cooking mentor classes, but this is her first time in the theater class.

During theater mentor class, senior Miqueyla Lopez hugs senior Kathryn Kerckhoff. Lopez has participated in PE Mentor classes and cooking mentor classes, but this is her first time in the theater class. "I learned how to work with them in a different setting because in here, we worked on social skills a lot, unlike the other mentor classes where we worked on things like activeness and motor skills. It takes so much patience, but I loved spending quality time with them individually," Lopez said.

Caroline Judd

During theater mentor class, senior Miqueyla Lopez hugs senior Kathryn Kerckhoff. Lopez has participated in PE Mentor classes and cooking mentor classes, but this is her first time in the theater class. "I learned how to work with them in a different setting because in here, we worked on social skills a lot, unlike the other mentor classes where we worked on things like activeness and motor skills. It takes so much patience, but I loved spending quality time with them individually," Lopez said.

Caroline Judd

Caroline Judd

During theater mentor class, senior Miqueyla Lopez hugs senior Kathryn Kerckhoff. Lopez has participated in PE Mentor classes and cooking mentor classes, but this is her first time in the theater class. "I learned how to work with them in a different setting because in here, we worked on social skills a lot, unlike the other mentor classes where we worked on things like activeness and motor skills. It takes so much patience, but I loved spending quality time with them individually," Lopez said.

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Preparing for their first play in the Theatre Mentor class, students with special needs spent the semester with peer mentors creating two plays which they will perform Friday, Dec. 14.

To help assist the actors and actresses, the mentors read the lines to the students so they could then repeat them back to the audience, direct them where to go on stage as well as telling them when it is their turn to say their lines.

“It’s a great opportunity because it’s something they are excited about, and they get to look forward to something they create,” senior Miqueyla Lopez said. “They made the play and the scripts, they are making all the scenery and they are doing everything themselves, so that is pretty [nice].”

The four mentors, Lopez as well as seniors Jacob Swihart, Ashlyn Roesch and junior Savanah Araya, developed their leadership skills while mentoring one or two students throughout the performance.    

“This class gives me that opportunity to create bonds with the kids. They get excited to work with me and I get excited to see them,” Roesch said. “This class showed me what I want to do with my life. I always said I wanted to be a Physicians Assistant, but after working with these kids for a semester, it opened my eyes to Occupational Therapy.”  

The students come to class every day ready to perfect the performances they have been working on since the beginning of the year.

“Working with all the different kids and seeing that they are able to do everything that we can do is amazing, but it might just take them a little bit longer,” Roesch said.

The students are busy preparing their lines, making props and rehearsing for the performance.

“It’s amazing because they don’t get these types of opportunities a lot and they love this,” Lopez said. “They are in their element when they are doing this play, so it’s really great to have the chance to be part of the experience.”

As the show date nears, the students are holding daily practices in their fourth-hour class.

“I am so excited to sing my lines, but I get to dress up too,” freshman actress Kate Stevens said.

The play will take place in the theater on Friday, Dec. 14 at 10:45 a.m. and is open to parents, students, teachers and administrators.

“The best part has been just forming relationships with all the kids because they all know each other,” Roesch said. “It’s just building relationships with the people I don’t normally get to form them with. I see them in the hallways, but don’t get an opportunity to work with them. It’s been a great experience.”

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Student mentors help students with special needs host a winter play