T.E.A.M. ~ Together Everyone Achieves More ~ Mentor Program
Diane Campbell
teaches Special Education at East Boston High School.

Students : Mentoring of Special Education (SPED) class by class from Academy of Health & Human Services Program (AHHSP)
East Boston High, AHHSP Teachers, Occupational Therapists; Physical Therapists; Vision Therapists; Speech Pathologists; Adaptive Physical Education Teachers

Classroom Activities
Hold round table discussions on students’ attitudes toward SPED students
Decide to address isolation of SPED students
Invite SPED specialists (Occupational Therapists, etc.) to classroom
Plan mentoring program for SPED students
Develop games & strategies to help SPED students in & out of class
Track mentoring progress in Reflection Journals
Plan ways to include SPED students in school’s social & athletic events
Share reflections results with other classes
Community Activities
AHHSP students observe isolation of SPED students
Interview specialists on ways to involve SPED students in more school activities
Visit SPED classroom & conduct “getting to know you” activities
Arrange schedule for mentors to identify & visit SPED students each week
Introduce games & strategies to SPED students
Accompany students to school events
Host end of year T.E.A.M. party for mentors & SPED students
Teacher Reflections
Each mentor and student with a disability took away something different. One student mentor was a star of the boys’ basketball team and requested that his new charges come to see him play. This was arranged, and the four students were elated to see their mentor in an exciting new role. . . . Mentors and students with disabilities became friends both inside and outside the classroom. Mentors became advocates for their students. At the first of the year, student with disabilities would walk down the halls, and no one would talk to them. Now they can walk down the halls, and you hear a lot of interaction. The mentors have established a social network for the students with disabilities. They’re becoming part of the social fabric of the school.

Student Reflections
I noticed yesterday that the kids really get attached to you quickly. One girls was so happy when she saw me she actually hugged me. We did the lesson plan that we worked on in Ms. Zarrella’s class, Math bingo. It went well. . . . I thought I was going to hate mentoring, but I actually enjoy it. I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen to these kids when they are older, and their parents are no longer around. They deserve to be taken care of because they are truly amazing gifted kids. . . . Mentoring has made me a better citizen. I know that students with disabilities are just like I am. They go to school and even get homework. I realize kids are kids. We can all accomplish things together.

TeachNet Service Learning is administered by Boston Public Schools Affiliate IMPACT II @ High School Renewal.
Supporting TeachNet are Special Assistant to the Superintendent for High School Renewal, Kathleen Mullin; IMPACT II Affiliate Director Barbara Locurto; WebMaster Andrew Binns; Web Advisor Linda Younis, High School Renewal; School to Career Program: Linda Younis; Project Assistant Jean Gibran. For more information, email blocurto@gmail.com.

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