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First Hand in Hand Dance of the school year unites disabled adults and students

Coloring+with+mentally+challenged+participants%2C+the+Craft+Table+at+the+Hand+in+Hand+Dance+unites+students+and+those+differently+abled.
Coloring with mentally challenged participants, the Craft Table at the Hand in Hand Dance unites students and those differently abled.

Coloring with mentally challenged participants, the Craft Table at the Hand in Hand Dance unites students and those differently abled.

Photo Credit: Photo Via Alyssa Salvato

Photo Credit: Photo Via Alyssa Salvato

Coloring with mentally challenged participants, the Craft Table at the Hand in Hand Dance unites students and those differently abled.

By: Alyssa Salvato, Fall Reporter

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Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM in cafeteria two at Colonia High School, Mrs. Brennan’s and Mrs. McCoy’s Interact Club held their first Hand in Hand Dance of the year to welcome and entertain disabled adults.

When people hear about dances many assume that it is formal attire and there is only dancing. For this that is not the case, people dress in casual attire and there is more than just dancing. Through the doors there is a table full of snacks, drinks, and desserts. The back contains rows of tables set up. Some have games such as Scrabble, Checkers, and Candy Land. While on others there is 100 piece puzzles with cartoons or animals. There is also a craft table that changes each time, at this dance it was coloring fall pictures like Winnie the Pooh. Masked is McCoy’s playlist playing on a Bluetooth speaker. When the adults arrive the students who volunteered to help out greet them and hang out.

Patrick Coveny, a senior at Colonia High and a member of the Interact club stated, “ It is a very rewarding experience and something that makes you feel like you’re making a difference in your community.”

When attending the dance there are many benefits that the students and adults will receive. Coveny then added, “ You get a whole new appreciation for those with mental disabilities and their caretakers. A lot of these people are discriminated against or treated poorly because of something out of their control, and it’s nice to put them in an environment where everyone is kind and patient.” Also, colleges love community service involvement.

Linda Brennan, a teacher and advisor of Interact Club at Colonia High described, ” One of the greatest benefits is being able to make others smile and witness genuine happiness. Our guests generally look forward to spending time with our students, and their caretakers genuinely appreciate the time we spend with their loved ones. Everyone wins.”

The adults attending have what are considered to be mental disabilities which can include developmental, intellectual, and learning. The American Psychiatric Association explained, “ health conditions involving changes in thinking, emotion or behavior (or a combination of these).”

These disabilities cause distress or problems functioning in social, work or family activities. 19 percent of adults experience some sort of mental illness and about four percent experiencing it severely. It varies from fairly mild to someone needing hospital care. There is no definite cures, though treatments are arising everyday that may improve conditions such as talking therapy and medication. Both treatments are believed to be best, but it is up to the doctor on what is safe or not. 

“When working with a special needs population it makes many feel grateful for what the have. It helps develop a positive outlook on life and helps to realize that happiness doesn’t come from material things. Happiness comes from the relationships we build with others,” Brennan further proclaimed.

Attend an Interact Club meeting if interested in getting involved with the next Hand in Hand Dance.

 

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About the Writer
Alyssa Salvato, Fall reporter

Alyssa Salvato is a 17 year old senior at Colonia High School. Salvato is one of the newest news anchors for Patriots Television and is also a part of all the school’s choirs. Ever since a young age she always had to have her voice heard whether it was through singing or simply speaking. Salvato originally started to cheer, dance, perform gymnastics, but after a while she realized those weren’t as important to her as singing and acting. Throughout elementary and middle school she has been in multiple productions such as Movies in Revue (Tracy) and Disney in Revue (Rapunzel). Salvato hasn’t performed in much, but she loves anything theater and is constantly going to New York City to see the latest productions. As the future comes speeding closer she plans on majoring in communications and media arts, which will hopefully lead to her becoming a radio host. By doing this she would be able to get her name out there and someday branch off to also do other things such as acting and singing. She is a girl with a dream to have her voice heard.

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First Hand in Hand Dance of the school year unites disabled adults and students