Hope Students Plan Thanksgiving Celebration
Students at The Hope Institute are encouraged to live as independently as possible. That means students are urged to complete tasks on their own and take initiative to gain self-esteem in their journey to become productive members of society.In keeping with that focus, a group of teenagers and young adults planned a Thanksgiving party that was held Friday, Nov. 21 at Capital Area Career Center in Springfield. Staff members had organized a Halloween party a month prior, but this time it was the students who approached teachers with plans to hold a celebration in honor of Turkey Day.
Students chose to sing songs, and to play pin the gobbler on the turkey and musical chairs. Those activities featured students smiling and laughing as they cheered for each other. The festivities also included food, which students brought in and helped prepare.
To start off the event, students were asked what they were thankful for and responses included God, family, friends, football, and more.
The event brought together students from different classrooms, which staff members said supports social interaction skills.
“It’s an opportunity to communicate with peers outside their own classroom, and that is carried over into other social environments,” said Billie Meyers, speech and language pathologist. “Students practice appropriate manners, patience, and most of all, tolerance of others’ behaviors.”
Teachers also noticed that students who had issues with the first party were more tolerant of the Thanksgiving party, and that participation was more spontaneous.
So just how much did students enjoy the event? Ms. Meyers said a student who rarely speaks was heard whispering, “This is fun.”
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