How can LINKS impact students? – By: Kena Malon

Want to make an impact on someone’s life well, making a new friend? LINKS could be the class for you. LINKS is a program here at GHS for students to take as an elective. Students at GHS get to learn from and assist students with disabilities get as much exposure and experience in the general education curriculum as possible. It provides the students to have a more fulfilling highschool experience. “In LINKS we get to work with kids with autism and other learning disabilities. We bring them to classes so they can experience how to work and interact with other people. This especially helps them with their future, so they hang out in a different space not hiding from everyone else which gets them interacting with other kids like us,” says Caden Peters, a GHS student involved in LINKS. 

The LINKS program was introduced to Grandville High School almost three years ago. Taking this class is a great opportunity, but members of the class need a good understanding of what it requires to take this class. “You have to be very patient, because you don’t never know what they’re going to do. You need to take your time, understand them,  and you need to know how to talk/handle them in hard situations,” states Amber Meendering, a GHS student involved in LINKS. 

Throughout  the years of the introduction of the LINKS programs, we have seen a significant impact on many students in and outside of the classroom. “There’s tons of different ways LINKS is more than just helping a kid in a classroom. We did an out of school activity where we had LINKS and their peers go out to dinner and went to the homecoming dance. It gives supported students opportunities to be apart of social groups or social events. Things outside of school in the real world that typically they don’t have access too. That is the biggest impact, that these students are able to develop and build relationships in a real world situation,” expresses Mr. Nathan Kilgore, LINKS teacher. Impacts like this show how much of a positive place LINKS is and how it is remarkably much more than just helping a student in a classroom.  

The LINKS program is commonly known throughout GHS, but there still is some confusion and misconceptions. “A lot of people overlook LINKS. They are scared of it and don’t know how to handle certain things. But if you create a strong enough bond with the student you are helping you have to worry about,” declares Chloe Beatty, student involved in LINKS. 

 

LINKS is a great way for students to get involved at Grandville High School and make an impact on someone’s life. “You meet so many new people and learn so many new things about mental health, illness and disabilities,” responds Alyssa Luke, a GHS student involved in LINKS.  LINKS will adjust one’s perspective on life and is a great opportunity to try something new!

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