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 Bowling Event Encourages Students with Hearing Loss to Interact

A large group of deaf and hard of hearing students from East County and their families enjoyed a bowling night Oct. 30 thanks to the work and donations of San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) employees.

About 70 people went to the event at Parkway Bowl in El Cajon.

The event was organized by Mary Brewer with the East County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) and was paid for with money from the County Office Management Employee Team, better known as COMET.

Social events like this are very important to students with hearing loss because they’re often they only child in their school with that disability, said Heather DiFede, senior director of the East County SELPA.

“It’s important to get them together with peers that they might not see otherwise so they can get to know each other and build relationships,” she said. These events are helpful for parents too.

Even though most of the students had never met each other, they got along very well, DiFede said.

One group of students turned it into a collaborative effort by splitting up duties with each turn. One would get the ball, another would carry it to the bowling ramp, a third would position the ball, etc.

The COMET team is made up of managers from the San Diego County Office of Education.

Dues paid by COMET members last year provided six scholarships to support students in various programs such as Career Technical Education, Juvenile Court and Community Schools, Outdoor Education, and the San Diego Science Alliance Youth Space Institute. It also provided money for SDCOE’s United Way campaign and holiday party.