KNOTS breakfast builds ties

By Sofia Ketels and Victoria Whittenberg

Although Friday, Oct. 5 marked the third official Kids Need Opportunities To Socialize breakfast, junior Zoe Graves experienced the event as a member for the first time. As a new addition, she looked forward to meeting her fellow KNOTS members, along with finding out who she would be working with.  

During first hour on October 5, the KNOTS team members all met in the cafeteria for an opportunity to get to know each other, ask/answer questions and start building personal connections for this year. In addition to a morning snack, members were given their yearly assignments. They will also be expected to meet with their team and work out the details of their new projects.

“This is a huge effort,” Kuhl said via email. “Every staff member signs up to pick food up and do a job at the breakfast. We work hard behind the scenes, so that it all comes together and hopefully appears seamless to all of our participants.”
According to Kuhl, the breakfast is more than an ordinary KNOTS meeting. Rather, it is a way for members to get to know everyone, as well as getting vital new information about the club while laying out the whole year for both new and returning members alike.

“It sets the tone for our whole year in KNOTS,” Kuhl said via email. “It allows our students to begin making connections with their peers.”

KNOTS participants take part in a Peer-2-Peer type program throughout the year, being friends with and helping out other students in special needs classes. This can be accomplished by KNOTS members through their lunch hour, a tutorial, an independent study, in addition to their other extracurricular events that take place over the course of the school year. Along with the breakfast, the club holds an annual barbeque. This year, KNOTS also will be hosting game lunches every quarter, where members will host a game lunch in the student union to bond with their peers.

Over the three years that KNOTS has hosted the breakfast, the club has since grown to over 100 members, according to Kuhl. One of those new additions was Graves, who heard about the club, and decided to join after remembering her positive experience with the Peer-2-Peer program at Monteith, her former elementary school. Though she has only been to one event so far after going to the breakfast, Graves already has a positive feeling about the program.

“First impressions are really important. So (the breakfast) gives you that first impression,” Graves said. “It’s a way to make a good one, since it’s pretty laid back.”

Kuhl emphasizes the importance placed on the meeting, saying it sets the tone for the whole year, and that it is one of the only whole-group mandatory meetings, so it was vital to have everything set up smoothly. Graves believes that it was, and that the meeting was a great precursor to the work KNOTS members will continue doing throughout the rest of the school year with their peers.

“(It) just gives you a chance to interact with the students and make better connections with them outside of the classroom,” Graves said. “I think it’s important that you make those connections.”