The Prowler

Peers Are Linking Students

Submitted by Cindy Hartpence

Submitted by Cindy Hartpence

Kyle Soto, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story


  • Connect students with disabilities and general education students
  • Create and foster friendships


  • Meets on the second Tuesday of every month during all three lunches in room 845
  • Anyone can join


  • Jodi Christensen
  • Shannon Gagliano
  • Laura Harbin
  • Cindy Hartpence
  • Colleen Petty
  • Julia Wright

Peers Are Linking Students is an organization that helps create opportunities and activities for students with special needs. PALS was created 10 years ago by teachers working in the Special Education department who saw a lack of communication between those with special needs and those without.

“We started with meetings and food to get people to come,” Hartpence said. “It really took off. We had over 300 students that were interested in participating.”

For the first few years Hartpence and Gagliano were the only teachers involved in PALS but the club soon added more teachers due to the sheer size of the program. PALS meets once a month in Harpence’s room during lunch. They also host a breakfast once a month and aim to hold two events each month, which may include going to sporting events at the Mill, going bowling, or going to the movies.

Five years ago, Hartpence received an invitation to speak about PALS at a conference where she presented the PALS organization to other school systems who have since started their own PALS programs.

The big highlight of this year was the PALS Pageant held at the Mill which allowed students with special needs to showcase their talents and have fun. 

“There were a lot of kids that moved into Starr’s Mill as 9th graders and didn’t know anybody,” Hartpence said. “We really foster friendship inside and outside of school.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Peers Are Linking Students, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

We welcome your comments, but only those comments that are appropriate for a high school publication will be posted. Comments that are derogatory or use inappropriate or vulgar language will not be posted.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Peers Are Linking Students


    Chess club

  • Peers Are Linking Students


    Girls Learn International

  • Peers Are Linking Students


    Health Occupations Students of America

  • Peers Are Linking Students


    Young Democrats

  • Peers Are Linking Students


    Teen Republicans