students have attended Valentine's Day and Halloween dances at , a school in Chatham for students with disabilities, for about a dozen years.
Students get to know each other, chat and dance the night away.
This year the tradition continued and, for the first time, the junior school hosted ECLC students for a day. Students ate bagels, talked, played games and worked on crafts.
ECLC of New Jersey provides special education for students ages 5 through 21. It has more than 200 students from central and northern New Jersey.
The visit in March was hosted by about 50 members of the Madison Junior School Student Council.
Mary Rooney, a Madison resident and an occupational therapist at ECLC, said the event is s great opportunity for students to socialize and suggested ECLC would be interested in working with other schools in the area to try similar programs.
"This benefits both groups," said Stephen Finkelstein, Student Council advisor.
Owen Matthews, treasurer and secretary for the Madison Junior School seventh grade, said she enjoyed making cards and building Jenga towers. Once they broke the ice, they enjoyed each other's personalities, she said.
"If you get them to laugh, they become more comfortable," she said.
Madison Junior School Student Council President Nick Lami said it was great to be part of hosting ECLC for the first time.
"This is the first time they've ever been to our school," he said. "Everyone is loving it."
ECLC student Grace Perlmutter of Chatham said she enjoyed playing games at the junior school.
"We love having friends here to help us," she said.
Junior School Principal Nicol Sherrin said students and faculty involved worked hard to make the visit memorable, and that everyone is able to benefit from the experience.
"We are pleased were were able to host this fabulous event," she said.