Special education students celebrated fall festivities with students from Elim’s Autism Comprehensive Education program (ACE) on November 12 in the Ozinga Chapel. This annual event gives Trinity special education students the opportunity to work on campus with special needs students.
ACE students, aged 11-21, were led on a scavenger hunt through the chapel building by Trinity students and ACE leaders. Following clues, participants visited seven stations and collected small prizes. The group also enjoyed fall-themed treats and a craft project.
For some Trinity students, the fall fest was their first time working directly with people with special needs. For others, like Amy Johnstone ’12 of Palos Hills, Illinois, and Carissa Trotto ’12 of Oak Lawn, Illinois, it was an opportunity to plan the event and practice their leadership skills as co-presidents of the campus’s Council for Exceptional Children.
“Amy and Carissa worked very hard on this event and really put their hearts into it,” said Dr. Patti Powell, professor of education and director of the Alexander De Jong Center for Special Education.
“It was great to be able to interact with the students and see them excited about the activities we had planned,” said Kayla Schoneveld ’12, an elementary education major from Ferndale, Washington. “I have a special education minor, and it is a good experience to work with students who need extra assistance.”
Laura Roose ’11 of Downers Grove, Illinois, worked with a student named Tyler during the craft time and scavenger hunt. “Tyler amazed me with his creative ability, and he loved all of the prizes at each station of the scavenger hunt,” she said. “At the end of the day, I felt amazing. There is something special about the students in the ACE program. You can truly tell that God is working within them.”