WARREN District throws School Cool Party
Pupils with multiple disabilities celebrated the end of the year with dancing and games.
By JENNINE ZELEZNIK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out" poured out of the big black stereo and roared through the cafeteria.
Swinging their arms and shaking their hips, Warren School District pupils with multiple disabilities bopped to the music, celebrating the end of the school year at their first School Cool Party.
Aide Brenda Hipple smiled as she watched.
"It's a great chance to get all the kids together from all the different buildings," she said, tapping her toe to the music.
Pupils from Jefferson and Emerson elementary schools and Warren G. Harding High School congregated at Warren Western Reserve Junior High.
Music master: Brian Dietelbach, a LaBrae High School graduate with multiple disabilities, served as disc jockey for the Friday morning blast.
"I like to dance," he said as "Rock Around the Clock" played in the background. "I wanted to give everybody a chance to dance."
Not all the kids were interested in dancing, though. Two boys zipped past Dietelbach, heading toward the games at the back of the room.
"You guys disappointed me," aide Becky Von Moos said, mock-scolding the two. "I wanted you to dance with those girls, but you ran right by them!"
Dancing impatiently in place, the boys looked at Von Moos with the utmost scorn.
"We don't want to dance with no girls," one offered, while the other nodded vigorously.
Von Moos laughed and shook her head as the two continued to the games.
Games and prizes: Seventh-graders in Sue Verbosky's special education classes were in charge of the party's carnival, which consisted of a ring toss, a bean bag toss and a fishing pond full of paper sharks.
Prizes included lollipops, Pixie Stix, plastic toy watches and plastic lizards.
Second-grader Cory Clark sucked on a piece of prize candy while concentrating on his next throw. When the red plastic ring dropped over the inflated elephant's tusk, he grinned triumphantly.
"I won a lot!" he said, displaying his newly acquired treasures. He hurried to the end of the line for another try.
Back on the dance floor, Pockets the clown led the kids in their own rendition of "Electric Slide."
Third-grader Renee Mittelstadt hovered at the edge of the dance area, her eyes behind thick glasses watching the other kids.
"She's waiting for a Backstreet Boys song," explained Von Moos, placing her hand on the girl's shoulder.
Renee smiled shyly and nodded, then displayed the watches she'd won at the bean bag toss.
"It's fun," she said softly.
Seventh-grader Alesia Austin said she enjoyed the chance to help the younger kids have fun.
"I feel we're giving them an opportunity to express themselves," she said seriously, then added with a smile, "And I think we're doing a good job."
A boy in blue sweats nodded at her assessment, then smiled and, clutching his new pink watch and plastic lizard, danced off to the music.