By Jelysa Hernandez, MSW Clinician and PALS Advisor
On Friday March 9th, 2018, 10 selected PALS students took a trip to visit the Children’s Specialized Hospital for the third time. This time was just as meaningful as the rest. Children’s Specialized Hospital offers a monthly recreational program called Friday night fever for teens with disabilities.
The program provides opportunities for teens to make friends, socialize, participate in activities and have an opportunity to hang out. All volunteers arrived on time at Pathways after school and were eager to spend time together. Pathways provided transportation to and from the event. Our volunteers played video and board games, all while allowing each individual to discuss whatever he or she felt comfortable sharing. Everyone had a great time and bonded at the end after playing a game which resulted in all participants laughing on the floor.
According to Courier Post online, nearly 15 percent of children in the U.S. live with a developmental disability. All need special education and care to reach their full potential.
PALS students understand the importance of spending time with those who have special needs. The truth is, all participants benefit from an event such as this. Every individual received one on one attention from a volunteer and had the opportunity to build on their social skills. Volunteers were also able to learn how to help and calm those with disabilities. Volunteering in this capacity helps to promote healthy lifestyle choices, enhance personal development, teach life skills, improves the community and encourages a lifelong service ethic. At the end of the day, events such as these are so heartwarming and fulfilling. PALS students will return in the near future!