By Sam Collins
Cougar News Blog
Members of the Student Council at Cactus Canyon have been working with the students in Peggy Mejia’s Life Skills class, changing both groups days in big ways.
Every day, some of the StuCo students go to see their “Best Buddies” and work with them on activities such as counting money, remembering personal information, and sometimes just having fun. This time of day, the last hour, helps the Life Skills kids with social skills and shows StuCo how to be helpful and to be a great friend.
“They (StuCo) have really enjoyed building a new relationship with those kids,” Jason Davis, StuCo adviser, said. “Everyone always comes back from Best Buddies talking about what they did that day and no one has ever come back without a smile on their face.”
Earlier this year, StuCo held a dance party just for the Life Skills kids with pizza, ice cream, and soda along with it. Coton Jonson , one of the seven students, said it was the funnest thing he’s done so far, setting the bar pretty high for their next activity.
Mrs. Mejia said, “The StuCo kids recognize the Life Skills students and say ‘hi,’ to them on campus and it builds self-esteem and makes them feel important.”
StuCo at CCJH first started working with Best Buddies two years ago, but the program got moved to the high school in the middle of the school year, giving them only a semester to be together. At the end of last year, the school tried it again and it worked out perfectly. So now, StuCo will be with Life Skills for the entire year, giving them a great opportunity to build lasting relationships.
StuCo vice president Madison Kelly said, “These kids are so talented and StuCo loves them so much.”
StuCo plans to make spirit-day videos, set dances, and have more parties with the Life Skills kids, like they’ve already done this year.
Once seventh-grade members are added to Student Council, the older members will show them the ropes, starting with going to Best Buddies.
“Best Buddies will be one of their first StuCo experiences and I can’t think of a better way for them to get started,” Davis said.
Even though intended to help Life Skills students, Best Buddies has done that and more by making a huge impact on StuCo as well. Aside from being helpful and a good friend, StuCo will, hopefully, help others after the year is over and even outside of school.
“I’ll miss the kids as I travel,” Kelly said. “But maybe I’ll continue my career with StuCo and see them again after my year here.”