A sunny morning at the Sacramento Zoo was enjoyed April 27 by students enrolled in Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Special Education programs.
More than 150 SCOE students, accompanied by family members, teachers and school staff, visited animal exhibits and enjoyed lunch on the lawn. Special education programs at local school district sites also sent students to the zoo field trip, which has become an annual event. Nearly 340 children and adults from throughout the county participated.
Among the chaperones were SCOE's Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School students, who served as peer mentors. The peer mentors helped by pushing wheelchairs, escorting students and assisting with serving lunch.
The zoo's acres of pathways proved no challenge for SCOE students trying out their MOVE (Mobility Opportunities Via Education) equipment. Four school sites within the SCOE Special Education Programs have been designated as Model Sites for the MOVE International Program and Curriculum for students with significant physical disabilities.
"The accessible environment of the Sacramento Zoo, combined with its helpful staff and volunteers, make this an enriching field trip for students and their families," said SCOE Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robin Pierson. "This annual outing has become a highlight of the SCOE Special Education program year."
Arrangements for the visit were coordinated by the SCOE Special Education Department and the Sacramento Zoo. Partial funding for the outing was provided by SCOE employees, whose Mather Employee Events Team organized a benefit luncheon April 19 to help defray costs.