LHS teachers create new class “Peer to Peer”

Alyssa Sutterfield, Staff Writer

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   “Peer to Peer” was newly introduced in the 2018-2019 school year to address kids with Autism and make them feel like they have a place. It is also teaching students how to be friends with kids who have autism.

  Most of these P2’s are great kids with great records and are nice to everyone they meet. They all love being able to help others who need it. These kids don’t feel like Peer to Peer as a class like Chemistry or Gym, but they like to think of it as volunteer work inside of our high school walls.

  Sophomore, Genevieve Kimber explained, “Being able to help him and give a better understanding of what’s going on during group work or projects is really fun.”

  Junior, Annamaria Pizzo said, “My peer is really easy to talk to and her drawings are really cool so it’s fun to talk about those too.”

    “It took a lot of people coming together and sharing ideas to help create a type of curriculum for this class. We also took a look at schedules and scheduled our P2’s with other students. Our P2’s are the students that help others with autism and social interactions.” Special Ed teacher Jamie Hitt explained, “It took part of last year and all of August to kind of put it all together.”    

  These teachers use curriculum from Grand Valley University and tweek it to fit every students’ needs.

  The class was created to help kids who feel like they have no one to talk to in class.

   “I want everyone to feel like they have a friend, everyone to feel like they belong, everyone to feel like they have someone to lean on in class,” said Hitt.

  Over the past school years, she realized that kids weren’t happy in school. Hitt wanted to make a small but dramatic difference inside Lakeview High School.

   “I wanted the program to help everyone feel like they have somebody in their classes.”

   “They made it very clear to us that we aren’t teachers to them and the reason we’re with them is to be a friend,”  peer to peer student and senior, Sydney Smoke explained. “The peers mostly have struggles with social interaction, so were mostly there just to be a friend.”

  These students help kids from Earth Science all the way to Algebra I. No matter what class they help their peer in, they never actually get the work corresponding to that class. For example, when a P2 is sitting in a Chemistry class, they won’t be learning about the Periodic Table. They will help their partner in things like group work or presenting in front of the class.

  “When these kids sit in a Chemistry class or a Gym class, they aren’t learning about the curriculum, they are there to be a friend and help out,” mentioned Hitt. “They have their own assignments on Google Classroom they have to complete on a weekly basis.”

  If this seems like the type of class you want to be a part of, talk to Hitt or your counselor for more information.