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UC Tech Student Volunteers Put Fun and Games to Work for Special Needs Learners

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Student volunteers from the Teacher Education Academy at UC TECH planned and staged an elaborate two-hour activity carnival earlier this month for 140 special needs learners. Credits: County of Union
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Earlier this month, a group of 51 students in grades 9 to 11 from the Teacher Education Academy at UC TECH staged an indoor carnival for special needs learners. More than 140 participants from the community attended the event and enjoyed plinko, corn hole, dance revolution, hula hoop activities, a DJ, prizes and more.

UC TECH is part of the Union County Vocational-Technical School District. It is located on the main campus at 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains.

“I would like to congratulate the students of the Teacher Education Academy on a successful event, and wish them all the best in their future careers,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “When young people take the lead on community service, their energy and enthusiasm is inspiring. The effort these students put into planning and preparing the carnival sets a wonderful example for us all.”

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“The annual carnival provides students with a way to put their classroom lessons into action while giving back to the community,” said Vocational-Technical Schools Superintendent Peter Capodice. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our Teacher Education Academy head instructor, Dr. Anne Marie McNamara, for her exemplary dedication to mentoring and fostering student leadership at Vo-Tech.”

While the DJ kept the two-hour event moving along, the students distributed prizes as game captains and served as carnival captains to guide the participants through 10 different activity stations. At the conclusion of the event, all 51 student volunteers formed a line to send the participants home with a rousing “clap out.”

The annual carnival is the culmination of a year-long fundraising and planning effort by the students. In addition to providing a day of fun for the participants, the carnival enables students to gain hands on experiences with academic topics including human development, diverse learners and psychologist theory.

For more information about the Teacher Education Academy, UC-TECH and all Vo-Tech schools, visit ucvts.org.

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