REACH program prepares for second year

Photo by Maggie Fischer

Claire Potts

A new addition to Starkville High School’s many clubs and organizations, the Reach Program is a club where students with special needs can interact with their peers. In 2018 this program was founded by students at SHS and directed by Chelsea Page. The director this year is Wanda Kirkwood. 

“It is a way to connect students with disabilities and students without,” Kirkwood said. “In the concept of Bridging students or connecting students together, I think it is a great thing.” 

The program hopes to encourage students to look beyond the disabilities and focus on similarities rather than differences.  

I think it is a good opportunity because a lot of our students are really shy or cliquish,” Kirkwood said. “This gives them the opportunity to look at something from a different perspective.” 

This year the program plans on having many events that will get students more involved and excited to participate. Representatives Mary Margaret Balzli, Claire Potts, Sarah Bailey Zimmerman, and Grace May have been working hard to make this happen. 

“We want to do a Christmas party again and hope to have an end of year dance. We are also thinking about starting a Book club where members of the club can read to some of the students that we work with.” May said.  

The program hopes to appeal to volunteers by letting them decide how much time they want to put into it and offering service hours based on that time. 

“The time commitment depends on how much time you want to put in,” May said “Last year, the events were planned by the representatives and I just came and helped out.”  

This is the second year that the program has been in place and the representatives are working together to make it happen. It will have a booth on club day that is available for anyone that wants to sign up to volunteer.