SCHOOL STUDENTS 'DISCOVER' SPECIAL EDUCATION
The Center for Special Education
gave four local high school students a six-week introduction to a career
in special education during its first Summer Institute of Discovery held
at Elim Christian Schools in Palos Heights.
Dr. Patti Powell, education
professor at Trinity, recruited students at Timothy Christian, Illiana
Christian, and Chicago Christian high schools to experience the teaching
profession at Elim, which serves children with special needs. Gabrielle
Lopez (senior, Timothy Christian), Tina Repel (senior, Chicago Christian),
Kaitlyn Powell (junior, Chicago Christian), and Kendra De Boer (junior,
Illiana Christian) served as teacher assistants for summer classes.
"There is a need for more
special education teachers who come from the Reformed perspective," Powell
said. "None of the four girls who participated knew much about special
education, but they were willing to learn. They formed strong bonds with
the Elim students by accompanying them to therapy and recess, and working
with them in the classrooms. It's possible that they will commit to careers
in special education as a result of their experience."
Lopez, Repel, Powell, and
De Boer also traveled with some of the Elim students. They went to Rehoboth,
New Mexico, with 11 Elim high school students on a missions trip and visited
Camp Manitoqua in Frankfort, Illinois, with a class of primary pod students.
The success of the Institute increased the likelihood of Elim and Trinity
collaborating on future efforts to enhance special education at both places.
"I am very pleased with the
inaugural Institute," Powell said. "This was a great first step for our
Center for Special Education, and Elim was very excited about this opportunity.
Gabby, Tina, Kaitlyn, and Kendra were great, and I'd like to parlay their
enthusiasm into more partnerships between their high schools and Elim."
Institute of Discovery
for Special Education