Supportive Peers program impacts Bellbrook youth

by Rachel Holbrook

Emma Deweese supports elementary-schooler Danny.

Interview with Junior Emma Deweese regarding Bellbrook Supportive Peers:

Question 1: What is the program Supportive Peers?

Answer: Supportive Peers is a program that connects special needs students in the district with high school students. 

Question 2 : How long have you been a supportive peer?

Answer: I found out about the program late last school year and began really getting involved late May when we had our Supportive Peers training and camp with our students.

Question 3: Why did you decide to become part of the program?

Answer: I decided to get involved in Supportive Peers to help students like my sister. I saw the impact Friendship Club in the middle school had on my sister Lilly and wanted to give that to another Bellbrook student.

Question 4: Why is this program important for both special needs kids and helpful to high school students?

Answer: Supportive Peers is important to me because it is the highlight of my day. Seeing the development of my relationship with my peer is the coolest thing ever. For my peer I have noticed that it is very beneficial to have a friend by his side during the school day and have someone model how to build relationships with his peers in the classroom.

Question 5: What have you learned or what experiences would you like to share from becoming a supportive peer?

Answer: My favorite part of Supportive Peers is when my peer watches me leave the building to make sure I get where I need to be or when he helps me turn on my car and buckles me in after events. The bond I have with him will give me memories to last a lifetime.

Anything else you would like to say or add about supportive peers: If you’re interested in getting involved in Supportive Peers or have any questions, I would love to speak to you or you can always contact Mrs. Rivero!

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