A 20-year tradition in the department of education at Hope is a winning event for everyone involved.

          For two decades, students in the department's
  "Exceptional Child" classes have spent a day each semester
  hosting special needs students from the Ottawa Area Center,
  which is a day school near Allendale attended by students
  from Allegan and Ottawa counties.  The event continued on
  Thursday, March 30, with a visit by 41 students from the
          The students range from preschool age through age
  25.  They spent the day with Hope students who are enrolled
  in five sections of the "Exceptional Child" class, and
  engaged in activities ranging from working at the college's
  computers, to a talent show, to a treasure hunt, in addition
  to sharing lunch on campus.
          The day is a good experience for the center's
  students, according to Susan Cherup, professor of education.
  It is an opportunity for them to be mainstreamed into a
  college setting and interact with students pursuing careers
  in teaching.
          The Hope education students, on the other hand,
  get both the chance to bring some happiness to a young
  student and have an opportunity to learn more about some of
  the impairments that they have studied in class.
          For some of the Hope students, the day provides
  their first experience with a special needs student.  "It's
  a package of learning about it in class, experiencing it
  during the on-campus visit and talking about it afterwards
  that helps it all come together," Cherup said.