Playing Pictionary and other board games may not seem, at first, to be the sort of activities in which an after-school recreation club would engage. But this is East Hampton High School's Inclusion Recreation Club, which was started to bring together pupils from the general student body with students who have special needs.
"It gives students with disabilities a chance to socialize and get to know different students in the building," said Nicole Calloway, a speech language pathologist in the district and one of the group's adult advisors, along with school psychologist Ralph Naglieri. "Students get to see how much they have in common with kids that they do not typically interact with and develop an understanding of differences among us."
The turn-out has been terrific. An even dozen students attended on a recent Thursday, with only four from the school's Life Skills program.
"Being a part of the Inclusion Club helps me feel as if I'm making a difference in people's lives," said senior Ricki Slater. "It's the best feeling in the world to see all the members laugh and smile together."
"I've met some of the strongest, sweetest kids I know by working with the Inclusion Club," Ricki continued. "I wish I had joined sooner than my senior year!"