Wednesdays on Beartooth News at Six Weekly look at individuals, groups and organizations going "above and beyond" to better the community

Class Act: Christmas Party

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Students at C.R. Anderson Middle School celebrated the holiday season by organizing a Christmas Party for the special needs class. In this week’s Class Act Beartooth NBC shows us how volunteering can spread a little cheer.

At C.R. Anderson, students in the Jobs for Montana Graduates program worked for weeks planning a surprise Christmas party for their special needs peers.

"A couple of them walked in and their jaws dropped.  They were really surprised," says JMG Student, Kaden Schuman

The JMG class focuses on keeping kids interested and active in school to lower the dropout rate. Students learn about community service and chose to give back this year by helping the special needs class.

"These kids, sometimes they just get isolated and nobody really pays attention to them.  This way it's mutually beneficial because my kids get a chance, like I said, to be a hero and the other kids, the special needs kids, get a buddy and they just get to have fun for a day," says JMG Teacher, Barb Cooper.

Cooper says her students made stockings, Christmas cards and spent a month planning the party to make it special. During the festivities they handed out gifts and played board games. The class says the relationships they've built with the special needs kids will stay with them.

"They'll know us when they get to high school and they'll say 'Hey, I remember you from the party.  Thanks for doing everything for me.' And just remember us forever," says JMG Student, Riley Lamb

"Get to know us and in high school if they're having any trouble or anything they know us so they can come talk to us about it and just have more friends," says Schuman

"Really they'll bond with these kids and then that'll hopefully parlay itself into helping with Special Olympics and maybe they'll carry over into high school so they'll have a buddy at Capital High next year," says Copper.

Hosting a special Christmas party to spread cheer through the school makes C.R. Anderson's Jobs for Montana Graduates program a Class Act.

Ms. Cooper says her class is looking forward to hosting another party with the special needs class next semester.


Story by Kaelyn Kelly, Beartooth NBC.
Copyright ©2011 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.

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