By Gabrielle Collins, Vice President of Student Education Association and Class of 2014
St. Mary’s Student Education Association (SEA) and The St. Mary’s College of Maryland Best Buddies Chapter are preparing for their first collaborative event, the Special Education Forum, on Saturday, March 8, 2014. Five guest speakers, all current or past educators in St. Mary’s County Public Schools, will grace St. Mary’s College of Maryland with their presence and knowledge of various facets of Special Education. Professors, students, and families of St. Mary’s County will gather in Montgomery Hall at noon for refreshments and the chance to discuss their concepts of Special Education before attending three informational sessions.
The Best Buddies Chapter will promote their mission of tolerance, acceptance, and friendship for everyone, and reaffirm their partnership with the College of Southern Maryland at the forum, as well as speak about, and publicize, the “Spread the Word to End the Word” event to be held later in March. Senior Karen Wathen, a current SMCM English major and Public Relations Manager of St. Mary’s County Special Olympics, will also attend the forum to inform the community about the determined spirit and positive morale sustained by St. Mary’s County Special Olympians throughout their annual Spring Olympic Games. If those details of the Special Education Forum do not have you hooked yet – brace yourself, there’s more. The final event will be a question and answer panel with parents of students with special learning and educational needs.
To witness and listen to the personal accounts of these parents will be a unique and invaluable experience, as no textbook or online article you could ever access will open your eyes quite like this. The forum is not the kind of event your average St. Mary’s student would want to miss. This forum allows students to learn about a new area of study from not only experts and teachers, but parents and young adults who know firsthand what it means to have a disability. Come support education for everyone and reaffirm the St. Mary’s Way in a new light.