Exhibition Showcases Exceptionalities

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Projects created by students in GCC Professor Earnestine Kirkland’s Introduction to Exceptional Children course were displayed on the Fairway December 10. Kirkland said the annual poster recruitment event provides students in the class the opportunity to share information with the public about exceptionalities like autism, blindness, ADHD, Fragile X syndrome, learning disabilities, communication disorders and various physical challenges. In the class, students researched their topics, interviewed service providers and agencies in the area, presented information to the their classmates through discussions, You tube video clips, and CDs that reinforced the topics presented. Literature from the various agencies were displayed and distributed to students who stop to gain more information.

Sharon Kuehlewind and Marley Bennett's project centered on intellectual challenges. They explored Fragile X and Williams syndromes and, “What we found is that early intervention matters so much,” Kuehlewind said. Tyler Angelo, whose project focused on deafness, said he learned a great deal not only about the ways deaf students learn but also about the topics his classmates researched and shared with the class. The course reinforced his interest in teaching children, he said.

Kirkland said the thought-provoking exhibit was also a recruitment tool for the Early Childhood Special Education Associate's Degree and certificate programs. “Our students are excellent recruiters because they research what they are passionate about,” she said. The hope, said Kirkland, is that as students stop by to learn more about a specific exceptionality they may decide they want to pursue a career in Early Childhood Special Education. Kirkland said the need for passionate educators in the field is great.

(Pictured, left to right: Alexis Walker, Jordyn Florio, Professor Kirkland, Tyler Angelo, Marley Bennett, Claudio Cabrera, and Sharon Kuehlewind.)