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You, Me and Us club brings students together to emphasize friendship

Coppell+High+School+members+of+You%2C+Me+and+Us+club+smile+proudly+after+a+successful+first+meeting+on+Monday+in+CHS+teacher+Eileen+Higgins%E2%80%99+classroom.+The+club+consisted+of+planning+for+future+socials+and+getting+each+other%E2%80%99s+contacts.+Snacks+were+also+provided+by+senior+and+club+president+Inaara+Dahras.
Coppell High School members of You, Me and Us club smile proudly after a successful first meeting on Monday in CHS teacher Eileen Higgins’ classroom. The club consisted of planning for future socials and getting each other’s contacts. Snacks were also provided by senior and club president Inaara Dahras.

Coppell High School members of You, Me and Us club smile proudly after a successful first meeting on Monday in CHS teacher Eileen Higgins’ classroom. The club consisted of planning for future socials and getting each other’s contacts. Snacks were also provided by senior and club president Inaara Dahras.

Sofia Guerrero

Sofia Guerrero

Coppell High School members of You, Me and Us club smile proudly after a successful first meeting on Monday in CHS teacher Eileen Higgins’ classroom. The club consisted of planning for future socials and getting each other’s contacts. Snacks were also provided by senior and club president Inaara Dahras.

Sofia Guerrero, Staff Writer

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“We’re all friends, we all go to Coppell High, we are one. We all are Coppell High School students and we shouldn’t exclude one another. By being able to include kids that go here and have already graduated, that’s a great way to be able to see them outside of school, and to just allow them to have something to do.”

— Marisa Mahalik

Getting an A on a test or hearing a fun story always brings a smile to Coppell senior Inaara Dharas’ face.

Now Dharas has a club that brings smiles to the faces of special education students at CHS that goes beyond just a school day.

“It means more than a club,” CHS senior club president Inaara Dharas said. “These kids, they are appreciated and they are given the same things that we’re given, but they’re not given the same social interactions in a way. They don’t get what we get sometimes.”

Dharas decided to make the club because she wanted to see the special education students outside of school and give them an opportunity to spend time with and build relationships with students in general education.

Dharas said that while the students get an education, they don’t usually enjoy afterschool activities during the weekends.

Dharas explains the stereotypes of what people think of people in special education and their friendships.

“When people think of special ed kids, they think that special ed kids are only friends with special ed kids,” Dharas said. “They don’t think that people who are not in special ed can be friends with special ed kids.”

Special education teacher and club sponsor Eileen Higgins said the club really impacts the special education students and allows them to have something fun to do outside of school while making friends.

“Then, all of a sudden, graduation comes, and they don’t have those friends anymore.” Higgins said. “It’s so nice when they’re here, and it means so much.”

Higgins said that when she sponsored Circle of Friends, a club providing special education students with the opportunity to gain confidence through peer interactions, parents asked what would happen after the students left high school. She noticed how some of the students were lonely with no friends, and decided to sponsor the club.

Senior club member Marisa Mahalik also attended the meeting on Monday, and she thinks that the club is really beneficial.

“Inaara approached me about it last year, whenever she had her ideas, and she was like ‘you have to join’,” Mahalik said. “Then she explained to me what she wanted to do, and how she wanted to be able to include the kids who’d graduated, and I was like ‘that’s a great idea’.

“It came out of the goodness out of her heart, of just wanting to be able to see people who she sees every day, but didn’t see outside of school. It’s definitely a good way to interact with them outside of school, and give them, and us, something to do.”

Higgins hopes the club will get students more aware of the fact that all students, whether they’re in general education or special education, still need social opportunities to connect with each other.

“I just want the kids to know that they have a friend in us,” Dharas said. “When I became a peer tutor four years ago, my life completely changed, and it’s what I want to do when I graduate.”

Mahalik said that the club will allow more kids to take the step out and realize that it does not matter who they are, it does not matter what classes they’re in.

“We’re all friends, we all go to Coppell High, we are one,” Mahalik said. “We all are Coppell High School students and we shouldn’t exclude one another. By being able to include kids that go here and have already graduated, that’s a great way to be able to see them outside of school, and to just allow them to have something to do.”

Dharas’s goal is to see students smiling and happy.

The You, Me and Us club meets on Mondays after school in E101. The first event will be bowling at Main Event in Lewisville on Dec. 5.

Follow Sofía on Twitter at @sofía_i_g

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1 Comment

One Response to “You, Me and Us club brings students together to emphasize friendship”

  1. Tawfiq Magan on November 13th, 2016 1:00 am

    This is what leadership is about. Bringing people together, no matter what.
    Great idea Inaara, we need more of you in this world.

    [Reply]

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You, Me and Us club brings students together to emphasize friendship