CEC helps to support and improve the lives of young children
Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter
Olivia Loughlin, President of the Council for Exceptional Students, loves what her organization gets to do for children who are often overlooked.
According to their mission statement, The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), is “a student chapter of the nation Council for Exceptional Children decimated to improving the lives of children with disabilities through participation in campus activities, as well as local, state, and national CEC events, to advocate, raise funds, foster awareness and provide support for children with disabilities.”
According to Loughlin, the organization has been on Southern’s campus for years.
“The Council for Exceptional Students has been on Southern’s campus since the 1970’s,” said Loughlin, “but it has been dormant and inactive for years. It came back to campus in Fall of 2014.”
CEC is a national organization, said Laughlin, and there are chapters at Central and at the University of Connecticut.
“There are state chapter meetings, Southern sometimes hosts them,” said Loughlin. “They are a good way to keep in contact with other chapters and to share ideas.” According to Loughlin, Southern’s chapter of CEC primarily works with Hamden Transition Academy.
“It is a school consists of 18-21 year old individuals with special needs, who are finishing their high school experience on a college campus,” she said. “They meet in Davis.”
Aside from Hamden Transition Academy, The Council for Exceptional Students also does a lot of fundraising. Currently, the organization is holding a school supplies fundraiser for Truman School in New Haven.
Loughlin said, “We are collecting things like markers, crayons, and gently used backpack. The school’s budget is so low that they can’t afford these basic items, so that is why we are holding the fundraiser for them.”
The Council for Exceptional Students also works with ACES at Whitney High School East, which is a school for the severely disabled students.
“We also want to do more collaborating with the Future Teachers. For example, they have a Teacher Trot race every year.” says Loughlin.
In order to join the Council for Exceptional Students, you do not need to be an education major, said Loughlin. The club consists mostly of special education majors and social work majors, but everyone is welcome.
Loughlin said, “We are a pretty new club, so if you want to share your ideas or what you are passionate about, we would love to hear it.”
Loughlin also said if you are a special education major, The Council for Exceptional Students is a great way to get to know your professors outside of the classroom setting.
The Council for Exceptional Students meets on the last Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m. in Davis 101. If students have any questions, they can contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org or email Olivia directly at email@example.com.
“You can drop by any meeting at anytime during the year,” said Loughlin. “If you are interested in the club, we would be happy to have you as a member.”