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Photo: Students bridge gaps, celebrate season

Paso Robles High School students celebrated the holidays with homemade cookies and other festivities Wednesday afternoon during a party hosted by the school's special education students.

Students in teacher Jeanne Neely's Advanced Peer Communicators class and the special education students take turns hosting the parties, which was attended by about 52 students Wednesday, according to Neely.

The party had hot chocolate, holiday treats and karaoke.

Students who participated said they loved seeing their peers happy and that interacting with them was a wonderful gift.

"My students learn a lot and work hard to give these students a sense of importance and normality," Neely added.

Neely's Advanced Peer Communicators class is designed to help mentor other students in the school district who are going through difficult times, she said.

"We pick projects that aim at connecting students to each other, their school and community."

The group also just completed its Red Wagons program this week, where 12 local families who can't afford to have a Christmas receive gifts.

Paso Robles merchants and residents raised $4,000 this year to fill red wagons with items such as changing tables, car seats, clothes, slippers and more.

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