DHS Amigos dance unites education

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DHS Amigos hosted their first annual Valentine’s Dance in the gym, on Feb. 14, for club members from both Downey and Warren High School. Amigos was created in order for special education students to feel like they are part of the school as a whole.

Bryan Fernandez

Marilyn Ramirez, Copy Editor/Co-Editor-in-Chief

DHS Amigos hosted Downey’s first annual Valentine’s Day Dance on Feb. 14 from 11:00 to 1:00, in the gymnasium, for both club members and the special education students. The three advisers for DHS Amigos – Mr. Baker, Ms. Adams, and Ms. Salceda – had hopes of achieving interaction between the general population and special education students.

“A lot of the time you’ll see those two groups segregated,” Baker said. “We thought this dance, this club even, would make the kids feel like they’re part of the school.”

Downey students were not the only ones participating in this event. Three special education classes from Warren were also invited to the dance, along with adult transition students from Downey Adult School.

The gym was decorated with balloons, streamers, and a number of tables for the students to sit and enjoy their lunches. Participants began to dance as soon as the music started, and laughed and moved with the popular hip-hop and techno tracks that the DJ played. Students like Berlyn Ramirez, 12, had been dancing with their groups, making sure they had a good time.

“I’m a T.A for the class so I’m always around these kids; I love them,” Ramirez said. “The dance had been pretty fun and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.”

Although the crowd complained about the lights being on, they quickly recovered and started a huge conga line. The gym was alive with people talking and dancing, even those on the sidelines just observing could be seen tapping their feet to the beat.

“It’s cool; I like having fun,” Edwin Gramajo, 11, said. “I like DHS Amigos and how they set this up for us.

Before the Valentine’s Day Dance, DHS Amigos hosted a variety of event: a barbeque luncheon, a bowling outing, and a Christmas shopping spree at JC Penney. They are currently in the process of planning a St. Patrick’s Day event and are looking forward to their end-of-the-year celebration at Dodger Stadium for a baseball game.

“I’ve been here since day one,” Chris Crocitto, 11, said. “As long as they have fun, that’s all that matters to me.”

The club meets twice a month to discuss and prepare future bonding events, like the dance. They hope to provide successful plans that will continue to unite the school even further.