Sgt. David Jordan knows how hard it is for soldiers to be separated from their children and families, especially during the holidays.  Safely home after two tours in Iraq, Sgt. Jordan  learned about our Student Council’s interest in community service projects from his sister who works at Pace.  He was only too happy to help get packages of handmade ornaments and hot chocolate mix to his brothers in arms still on duty.

Sgt. Jordan connected Pace with Sgt. Joseph T. Duncan and project “Any Soldier” to get the parcels to soldiers in Afghanistan. According to Sgt. Duncan, “Getting packages with anything – letters, food, clothes make their day!” He says it is very harsh over there during this time. Some have new born babies and others have families and pets that they have to leave with others and not see sometimes a year or more.  They have only their brothers (other soldiers) to spend time with.

The students are learning that whatever their personal challenges, helping other people can make them feel good about themselves.  Plans are already underway to have Council members visit residents of a senior care center in the coming months.

Gateway to the Arts at Pace

Gateway to the Arts has made a first rate impact on the students at Pace School ESY program.  The students have learned about the rich Brazilian culture.  They were exposed to the vibrant dance, appealing food, and alluring music. The students adopted Portuguese as a second language and learned many words in Portuguese including “hello” and “goodbye.” The next week, the students learned about quilt making. They learned how different symbols found on modern quilts represent words like “peace, boy, girl, and protection.”

The students at Pace were enriched by the astonishing music of Jazz. They learned how Jazz made an impact here in Pittsburgh and how Jazz musicians from Pittsburgh have changed the world. Gateway to the Arts brought modern dance to Pace and gave the students the opportunity to see professional dancers interpret their abilities. Last the students at Pace School ESY program were educated about the mother of all modern music- the Blues. They learned how the Blues started on the plantations in the South during the time of slavery. They learned how some important Blues musicians helped this country through a time of great adversity and division. »Read More

Timmy, a recently admitted student at Pace School, is attending Extended School Year (ESY).   Timmy’s former Pace classroom included a group of students much like himself – high functioning, verbal ASD children.  ESY, however, has provided Timmy the opportunity to learn with and about students challenged by disabilities including auditory processing issues, social and emotional challenges and limited cognitive functioning.

As one of the most gregarious students in the class, Timmy has assumed the role of social ambassador. Initially, staff thought that Timmy’s peers would be the primary beneficiaries in this effort.  However, Timmy has blossomed into a concerned co-worker, encourager and understanding friend!

Timmy’s mornings look something like this:

9AM – Morning Routine (greet peers, put away backpack, greet classroom staff, sign-in, eat breakfast and complete seatwork).

John, who is practicing greeting skills, shakes Timmy’s hand and asks,  “How are you?”   Though such an exchange seems odd to Timmy (9 year olds rarely shake hands), he responds graciously.  On the way to breakfast, Timmy helps a classmate stay in line by quietly guiding him back into place. Timmy and his friends like to listen to music in the morning.  Timmy brings a favorite CD into the classroom so that everyone can enjoy music during breakfast. »Read More