Social Stars Shine at EMS
Patrons of the Social Stars Restaurant lined up at the door on Thursday, March 29, patiently waiting to be seated at the fourth annual Social Stars Luncheon. Hosts Ms. Joly-Lowdermilk and Mrs. Polvinen greeted the students and Landmark High School volunteers guided Elementary School students to their tables, where they engaged in conversation with members of the Landmark faculty and administration—many of whom were new faces.
Eating and talking with strangers can be intimidating for students, so conversation cards and word games were available to spark discussion, but the props weren't always necessary! The students eagerly discussed plans for the upcoming April break, whether or not ketchup is required for French fries, and their favorite hobbies. Prior to the luncheon, students called the "restaurant" to make a reservation. For many students, this was their first such experience. Reservations were required for this packed event.
Applying Skills to Real-Life Situation
Landmark Elementary School students were applying their Social Thinking skills, which they have been practicing all year. Mrs. Ellis, Landmark speech/language pathologist, explained. "Social thinking is about knowing what to say or do when we are interacting or sharing a space with another person. It is important to think about who you are with, where you are and what is happening in the situation."
"Students are sitting with people they don't know, so social thinking is learning how to start a conversation and interact with them and how to make them feel comfortable in a restaurant-like setting" said Mrs. Ellis.
Mr. Kahn, Mrs. Blanchard, Mr. Swanson, and Ms. Babcock served lunch, which included chicken tenders, cheese quesadillas, carrot and celery sticks, and French fries (ketchup was optional).