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Pen Pals Meet and Practice Language Skills

Special Education Students Develop Proficiency and Make New Friends


Two students at a table showing off their picture frames and smiling at the camera two students smiling at the camera Two students with their pictures frames and arms around each other

Students at Brookhaven Learning Center and Masera Learning Center at Paul J. Bellew, an ESBOCES included site, recently participated in an exciting pen pal project. Launched earlier in the year by Speech Language Providers Laura Donovan and Gina Salemi, students met the people they had been corresponding with throughout the year. This opportunity allowed them to grow their speech-language skills in a fun and meaningful way while fostering new friendships. Students had their pictures taken with their new friends, decorated picture frames for fun memories, and enjoyed a pizza-karaoke party. Said Salemi, “Discussing interests and sharing stories with one another is a perfect way to practice expressive language in a functional way. We hope to grow this project throughout the agency with the help of other speech-language providers next year.”

Brookhaven Learning Center and Masera Learning Center at Paul J. Bellew Elementary School are both Eastern Suffolk BOCES sites that provide services to students with special education needs.