Like many schools across the country, Angela's 5th grade class is participating in DARE. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) They're doing it even though Angela's teacher told me, "I don't know why we're still doing this. Studies have shown it's not effective and it takes a lot of money."
I'd love to point her to my blog below, but I digress.
At parent teacher conferences, the special ed. teacher and the mainstream teacher made it pretty clear that TO THEM it wouldn't work for Angela to participate in the DARE meetings. It's a lot of sitting and lecture type education, something that Angela doesn't do so well with. (as they said this to me, my mind was screaming "WHERE IS THE INCLUSION SPECIALIST?????") Anyway, the 5th grade would go ahead with their DARE classes, and at the end Angela could participate in the graduation program at the end.
HUH???? The couldn't really think that made sense. Participate in a program to celebrate something she hadn't learned? Yes, Angela is perfectly capeable of learning the information in the DARE book!
So for the past couple of weeks, Angela and I have been working through the workbook together. She is one smart cookie. The book gives little situations, and the students are supposed to list what the problem is in each story. Of course, Angela answers like this, "That's cigarettes! That's bad!...DUH!!!" She's so age typically sarcastic, it cracks me up.
The students in the DARE program also need to write a speech, and someone (maybe all the 5th grade teachers?) will decide don the 2 or 3 best speeches. Those students will read theirs in front of the whole 5th grade. Angela wrote her speech herself. Well, let me restate that. She doesn't "write" anything, she dictates. Hers is simple, but she wrote it herself and that's the important part. I have this secret hope that her teachers will think it's cool that she did this herself, and then choose her to read it at the graduation. But then...wouldn't that be singling her out as "special"?
I'll try to make a recording of her reading her speech and post it for you.