This week’s podcast is with Sara Bohrer, who started a program at Bismarck Century High School four years ago called “Peer to Peer.”
She says a group of parents and administrators got together to talk about how they could get students with disabilities more involved in school both during class time and extra-curricular activities.
Bohrer says the shift from middle school to high school is significant. She wanted to create a family atmosphere and not just a place students had to be.
The group considered starting Peer to Peer as a club, but eventually settled on starting it with a full-year class elective. They knew general education students needed knowledge and education to work with students with disabilities.
The first year class was so successful, it’s now offered for three years and includes mentoring students with disabilities and spending at least 20 hours outside of class with them. Bohrer says the mentor/mentee role has turned into friendships in all cases and has changed the culture of Century High School.
Students now attend classes with mentees as peer educators, offering 21st Century learning skills and building compassion and empathy in students and providing never thought of before career paths for students.
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