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      Dumas Jr High P.E.P progam inspires students

      The Dumas Junior High School student council is setting an example for its student body. It has something called the Peers Empowering Peers program. For short that program is called, P.E.P. What it is, are student council members helping get the Special Ed students involved in school activities. It's this week's Region 16 Spotlight on Education.

      LIFE Skills teacher Kellin Fox says she got the idea for the P.E.P program from Crockett Middle School, who has a similar one.

      "I had to bring it to Dumas I have to get my kids out there and part of the school rather than kind of sheltered," said Fox.

      That's when she brought in the student council at the beginning of the school year to help bond with the Special Ed students. Cook for them, play games, and go on field trips.

      "Its one thing to have the leaders of your school working with the kids they are around everyday, but it's a different thing to have the leaders of your school working with kids that are in an environment of their own," said student council sponsor, Janan Grice.

      "It's good to have communication skills and for them to be able to go into the community and talk to people they don't know or familiar with. And kids who are really sheltered and wouldn't talk to the special ed population or we would form a line walk to our classes and how they're actually part of the student body and it's amazing," said Fox.

      "These kids are really awesome they interact just like we do," said student council member, Inez Carrillo.

      "I think this program is very helpful for the other students because it shows the friendships that you can build and we can also be a great role model for others to follow," said student council member, Cassandra Morales.

      That's what has happened. Their peers have taken notice and now those friendships have extended beyond the student council.

      "I want the student body to realize these kids are just like them, they wall want friends they all want to be part, they want to yell for the Dumas Demons, and they want to walk in the hallway and wave at their friends, and they've got that," said Fox.

      In fact, the P.E.P kids went on a fishing trip yesterday. They told me they caught a lot of little perch, and they made plenty of memories to keep for a lifetime.