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Special Needs Prom to take place on May 11

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Everybody’s looking forward to the magical prom night coming up on May 11, but a handful of students are even more excited about the prom happening on May 11. Special Needs Prom is coming up a week after to focus on the kids in special help class students and helpers.

The Special Needs Prom is open for all special education students, not only at Canfield High School, but other schools around this area. Many people come together to put this event together, especially the staff at Canfield.

“Canfield Intervention Specialists put on the prom, primarily Miss Muzina, puts it on. It happens at St. Mary Assumption Social Center in Youngstown. She gets a lot of local businesses to donate things for the prom, decorations, cupcakes, even girls getting their hair done. Schools from Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties attend. Both high school classes go the day of to decorate and put the entire room together,” explained Carrie Miller, a special education teacher at Canfield High School.

Not only is the dance welcoming to all special education students, but encourages high school students to join the dance as well.

“Student helpers should also go because they can see just how ‘typical’ our students can be regardless of their differences and regardless of their level of functioning. They can still have the same kind of enjoyment with their peers,” said Mrs. Miller.

Marissa Yourstowsky, a Canfield Junior who assists in the special education classrooms through the Helping Hands program, agreed with Miller, “I mean the energy and love I felt that night is something I never wanna miss out on. I’m going because I was asked by Billy Zaremzki and because last year was just absolutely amazing.”

The dance does not require students with Helping Hands experience, but many students have and enjoyed their time helping in the classroom.

“Well, I started working with special needs students when I was in first grade. I knew that they were different and because of that it made me want to help them and make them feel as welcome as possible like all the other kids. Words can’t describe how it’s impacted my life. I’ve loved every single second working with these kids. It has taught me discipline and has opened my eyes to how amazing these kids truly are,” explained Yourstowsky.

This prom is coming up soon, and many people are still unaware about the event. Also, many people assume they would feel out of place at an event they never attended.

“I would definitely tell everyone that going to the special needs prom is a life changer. I would tell them that it’ll be a night you won’t forget. You have to be prepared for anything and you have to know how to interact with the students. From last year, every child I met and danced with made my night that much more special!” said Yourstowsky.

Miller agreed with Yourstowsky, saying, “I think each student should go at least once- It’s an experience they won’t ever get otherwise. We need to challenge our students and this is a place where even if they have issues, they are around others who understand and accept them. They can experience something new, but in a safe environment.”

Not only do the teachers and adults contribute to the Prom, but the students easily make this night unforgettable for all attending.

“They make me so happy, seeing them smile, laugh, and do things for the first times that make them feel special. The way they feel affects me, and if I want to be happy I know that I need to do everything I can to make them happy,” concluded Yourstowsky.

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The student news site of Canfield High School.
Special Needs Prom to take place on May 11