The staff at Paynter has begun a new after-school program. Several PES parents with special-needs children had expressed that it was difficult to find social opportunities for their children to participate in. They said that they found it hard to find activities or groups for their children to engage in—and even setting up playdates with peers wasn't always easy. In an effort to address some of these parental concerns, Paynter Pals was created.
The team set up a variety of stations throughout the gym for the kids to rotate through. Each station was staffed by either an adult or a regular-education peer, who had volunteered his or her time to help the Pals with their activities. Stations included hitting a ball off a tee, soccer, football throw, and riding an adapted bike. The group concluded their time by playing with a parachute, which was a huge hit. All of the participants had a great time and feedback from parents has been nothing but positive. The team plans on expanding on this success by having monthly Paynter Pals events next school year.