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Peer to Peer is here!!!


Central Elementary has recently implemented an evidence-based practice program to help its students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). R-P Links, a Peer to Peer program, pairs students with ASD (target students) with peers to help them academically and socially. Links (peers assisting those students with AR-P LINKSSD) had to fill out an application and get parent permission in order to be considered for a Links. Once the Links were chosen, they attended a week long, very intensive training where they learned what ASD is and how to positively support students with ASD. Since January, R-P Links has successfully “linked” three target students with Links to assist them in the classroom, at lunch, out for recess and on the bus.

Teachers of the target students have commented on the benefits of the program. Not only do the target students benefit from this linking, but the Links benefit from the program as well. Peers model typical academic and social behavior in educational environments throughout the school day and in return they gain increased skills in organization, responsibility, problem solving, decision-making, and accountability.

In recognition of all their hard work and dedication, R-P Links celebrated the end of the year with a pizza lunch, bounce house, group games and prizes. This was made possible thanks to donations from Pizza Hut, Coney Island, Hometown Creamery, Meijer, Y-knot Embroidery, Redi Rental and ASD Crayon sales. Central also had a large amount of balls, hula hoops, and scooters along with many other recess toys ordered with Coke Reward donations. Thank you parents! This year, the project will partially be funded through two grants Mrs. Graham has written at the NEA and at Walmart. Thank you to these foundations also.

The Peer Team at Central included: Jennifer Russell, Jen Ruud, Rita Whitaker, Tish Hoffman, Marsha Fowler, Sherri Foster, Amanda Brooks, Mike Lyons, Eve Mills and Vicki Graham (coach /coordinator). There are 57 peer assistants (Links) in the program at this time.

 

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