Mount Bethel Elementary School is proudly celebrating Exceptional Children’s Week during the week of January 22-January 26.  This is an opportunity to honor and celebrate our students with exceptionalities and the teachers who serve them.  If your child has received any special support at school, please consider using this week as a time to send a thank you card, give a hug or even a thank you e-mail for that individuals effort. 
 
Everyone who is reading this has strengths and weaknesses.  In many cases, individuals can develop their own coping strategies to compensate for their weaknesses.  In some cases, however, some students and adults need extra help.  Our children come to school wanting to learn.  With the right support and interventions, students with learning differences can succeed in school and life.  This is where our amazing teachers, especially our Special Education, Gifted and Support teachers, come in to play.  
 
During the week, all students and staff will have the opportunity to learn about famous people who have concentrated on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.    Did you know Charles Schwab, founder and CEO of a large investment and wealth management firm, has a learning disability in reading?  Or that Jim Abbott became a Major League Baseball player despite being born without a hand? A display of these individuals will be outside of the school cafeteria.  Hopefully all students, staff and parents will be motivated to turn their “I can’t” into “I can!!”
 
Last year, our students learned about physical disabilities from Blaze Sports.  This year, they will be learning about disabilities that they may not “see.”  During the week, our school counselors will be discussing learning differences and acceptance of all students.  The students will be a part of several hands-on activities that show them what it may feel like to have a disability.  Hopefully they will gain a general understanding of learning differences and how they can show empathy and patience towards others in all environments.
 
Finally, all the teachers and staff will be treated with a special dessert to show our appreciation of their hard work.     Our self-contained teachers will also enjoy a special lunch with each other.