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Rowayton Students Walk In The Shoes Of Those With Special Needs

Rowayton School will be hosting an event to prevent bullying and embrace peer differences on Feb. 26.
Rowayton School will be hosting an event to prevent bullying and embrace peer differences on Feb. 26. Photo Credit: File

ROWAYTON, Conn. -- Rowayton Elementary School will be hosting an event called "Walk in My Shoes: Embracing Peer Differences & Preventing Bullying," which will allow students to experience a day in the life of children with special needs.

Colleen O’Shaughnessy-Pollack is the chair of this event, which will be held Thursday, Feb. 26, for the fifth grade class.

The Rowayton PTA selected the fifth grade, with the goal of having all of their students experience it once before finishing elementary school. Did you know that 10 percent of the children in Norwalk Public Schools receive special education services? By the time those kids are in middle school, they are far more likely to be bullied than “typical” students.

This program has been developed by Norwalk SPED Partners, a local group of parents of children with special needs.

"Walk in My Shoes" is designed to help children recognize that some people have more challenges than others; respect one another; and actively reach out to people who may speak, see, hear, move, or behave differently.

Each class will spend 50 minutes going through a set of five stations where they have brief experiences to build their awareness about special needs.

The stations include: learning differences, movement, hearing, vision, and communication. There will be ideas and resources for teachers to use before and after the program to build on the experiences and to relate the concepts to the various ways we’re all different: how we look, what we eat, even allergies.

If you would like to watch a video about the program, visit this website . Parents will receive a handout on the day a child participates, with some ideas to discuss together and resources to access. If you have any questions, contact Colleen at 203-855-1546 or colleenoshpol@gmail.com or Lisa Ganga at 203-750-9771 or eganga@optonline.net .

If you have a child with special needs, including both kids with IEPs or 504 plans, please consider becoming involved with Norwalk SPED Partners.

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