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Week highlights children of all abilities
Exceptional Childrens Week pic
Students from the school district submitted pieces of art for the Exceptional Childrens Week art contest. The winning pieces were judged and put on display at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

Each year, the Dawson County school system sets aside a week for "exceptional students."

This year, March 10-14 was designated Exceptional Children's Week.

"A lot of the kids with learning disabilities, you wouldn't know," said Hershel Bennett, director of special education.

"The best kid on the football team may have dyslexia and you wouldn't know. There are some kids that may only have disabilities in one area. And then there are the more severe cases where they could be two or three grade levels behind."

Bennett said that the week wasn't to draw attention to students with special needs, but to show that many people have special needs that may not appear on the surface.

"We're trying to draw attention to what it is - not just for exceptional children, but for all students to understand more about these disabilities and what their abilities actually are," he said.

Bennett said that special learning techniques could be needed for any number of reasons.

"Exceptional children could have any number of reasons for that title. It could be learning disabilities, physical disabilities - anything that makes them do a little bit extra to reach their goals," he said. "A lot of kids on individual educational plans go on to college and have great careers. The goal for us it to have each kid reach his or her potential and become productive citizens."

He also said he wants to focus on the teachers, as well.

"One thing I want to highlight is the job the teachers do in this county," Bennett said.

An art contest was also held in connection with the week, with judging taking place at the Dawson County Library.

The winning pieces are currently on display at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex.