Spotlight on Broadway Connections

The Broadway Connections program is truly unique as it allows special needs students, who may not have another opportunity, to find the confidence to be on stage,” said Beth Rosas, Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts (CCTA) education and programs director and Dunloggin Middle School teacher. “Every year watching the joy on their faces as their peers give them a standing ovation is hard to surpass.”

The after-school program Broadway Connections, created in collaboration with CCTA and Loyola University Clinical Centers six years ago, offers special needs students theatrical opportunities paired with non-disabled classmate peer mentors. Launched first at Glenelg High School, school theater department staff work in partnership with special education teachers and CCTA to offer this extraordinary experience.

All students involved get a lot out of Broadway Connections, and several peer mentors have found a love for the field of special education, ultimately discovering their life’s work through this program. In a Discover HCPSS video, Glenelg student peer Jess Foster said, “Special education would be a major I’m looking into…It’s just something I really enjoy.” Glenelg student peer mentor Jake Foster said, “I think working with him [Alex Fitzgerald] has been one of the most important elements of my whole high school career.”

Over the years this program, which has been held at Glenelg, Lime Kiln Middle School, Mount Hebron High School and this year at Reservoir High School, has involved more than 200 students. Glenelg and Reservoir high school students can sign up for the program this fall by contacting the school special education team.

To see Glenelg Broadway Connections stars shine bright, view