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South Hills middle schoolers are mentoring their peers who have special needs

South Hills middle schoolers are mentoring their peers who have special needs

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TWIN FALLS — Several times a month, Amy Nelson’s seventh-period English class at South Hills Middle School takes a break from their regular classwork to read with their peers who have special needs.

The mentoring project kicked off a couple of months ago. Depending on their peers’ needs, Nelson’s eighth-grade students either work with them one-on-one or in small groups.

“This is the only class that gets to do this,” Nelson said, adding she chose them based on their diversity in interests.

Sometimes, students who have special needs are misunderstood, said 14-year-old Tobias Torrero, who’s in Nelson’s English class. “They’re judged based on their looks,” he said, without people getting to know them first.

But now, the teens in Nelson’s class say they’re making memories with their classmates in the special education program.

South Hills Middle School opened in fall 2017 in south Twin Falls. It has more than 600 students enrolled and about 66 percent qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.

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