Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) will be holding a holiday party for the students of the Don Guanella School, a school for students with disabilities. The party will be held in 301 Recitation Hall from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The event will begin with a pizza dinner for the students followed by a crafting session.

The West Chester University CEC members have prepared two crafts for the Don Guanella students to be able to participate in. The first is decorating a Christmas stocking, and the second involves painting gingerbread men with icing.

The CEC has also planned to have karaoke at the party, so students will be able to sing and dance to their favorite Christmas songs along with all other types of music.

“The students are really into music, so that will probably consume a lot of our time,” Heather Howiszac said, fourth-year elementary and special education major who is secretary of the CEC. The room for the party will be decorated in a winter/Christmas theme.

The CEC has been working on planning this event for over a month. CEC members were broken up into sub-committees in order to ensure that all tasks for the event were covered: decorations, crafts, prizes, games, music etc.

“This event makes me feel that CEC is heading in the right direction,” Howiszac said. “We are trying so hard to make CEC successful, being an all new executive board this year. I am so excited that the Don Guanella School is working with us, and so many CEC members are coming out. We’re trying to get off the ground, and this event is a huge deal for us. I’m pumped!”

A few weeks ago, the CEC also worked to help the Don Guanella School by assisting with their Halloween dance for people of all ages with disabilities.

“The dance was so much fun,” Howiszac said. “We worked the money table, so we were able to meet all the students that came in to the dance. It was neat to see the interactions between everyone. We would go around and make sure everyone was having fun. If someone was on their own, we would try to get them to dance with us. The dance lasted for about three hours.”

The CEC is a group of mostly special education majors and other students who sponsor activities for exceptional people. The CEC is also a chapter of the Student Council for Exceptional Children, which is a national organization involved in the education of exceptional children.

There are 42 listed members for the WCU branch of the CEC, but according to Howiszac, the number of active members is much lower.

“We are still a developing club,” Howiszac said. “Many people are not aware of this organization, which is surprising since WCU has so many education majors,”

The CEC tries to sponsor between two and four events each year. This year they have helped with Multiple Sclerosis walk at Longwood Gardens, assisted with the Halloween party at the Don Guanella School, organized a Speech Pathologist Information Session and held a bake sale. They are ending the event-filled semester with the Holiday party on Dec. 5.

“As for the future, we don’t have any finalized plans,” Howiszac said. “Hopefully we will get to plan a spring party for the Don Guanella students. We are currently organizing events for our future and will have a schedule of events in the beginning of next semester.”

For more information on the Council for Exceptional Children, contact Howiszac at HH590740@wcupa.edu.

Janine Fulginiti is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at JF619755@wcupa.edu.

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