By: Grace Blauwiekel
“Students in LINKS leave feeling like they have a purpose every day, on both sides of the story.” says Dan Jakubowski, LINKS Teacher.
The program LINKS came to Grandville High School around two years ago and has made immense advanced to the Peer to Peer program ever since.
“LINKS is a program that helps students with special needs. “It gives students a pal to help comfort them,” says AJ, a GHS tudent involved in LINKS.
LINKS is a hybrid class at Grandville High School that focuses on increasing knowledge about a variety of disabilities, gaining an understanding of people with disabilities through supporting them and building relationships while also gaining greater acceptance for those who are different. LINKS allows individuals to attend regular-ed classes with your LINK by assisting them with problem-solving, communication and demonstrating leadership skills.
Throughout the two years of LINKS being around teachers and students have noticed countless amounts of positive changes within the students. Mr. Dan Jakubowski said that “With LINKS, progress is made all the time.” He also notices that “The students are more talkative and more socially appetite, and all the inappropriate behaviors are gone.” Changes like this happen on the daily with students involved in LINKS. Mr. Matt Workman, Special Education Teacher, says “These students are now walking down the halls, people are talking to them, they are talking to others.” Effects like this are only showcasing a small amount of the positive changes LINKS has given.
“Research indicates that other support models for students with special needs are not as effective as the peer-to-peer (LINKS) support model. Many social skills groups have been determined ineffective or unsuccessful because social skills need to be taught in natural contexts, such as the classroom itself,” says Melissa a Special Education teacher in Mt. Pleasant Michigan.
LINKS Is an awesome way to get involved at Grandville High School and will transform another’s peer’s life, along with owned. Just like Mr. Dan Jakubowski said, “It can teach you what kind of person you are!” There’s only so much a textbook can teach, therefore go try new things!