Meeting Street Telethon hosts share special bond

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — For the past 72 years, Meeting Street, and now the Schwartz Center, have helped children reach their potential educationally, developmentally and emotionally.

In addition to a rigorous academic program, Meeting Street also teaches children how to be good citizens, much like this year’s Meeting Street Telethon co-hosts Carlos and Sammi.

The pair has a special bond, developed over the years at Meeting Street.

“You make me laugh all the time,” Sammi said to Carlos. “You’re my friend.”

But Carlos and Sammi are just two of the more than 5,000 students and families at Meeting Street, located in Providence, and the Schwartz Center in Dartmouth.

Carlos and Sammi are part of The Grace School, where children with and without special needs grow side by side. They learn important life skills such as reading, writing, language arts, math, social studies, science and physical education.

Carlos is in the sixth grade and Sammi is in the eighth grade, and learning alongside children with special needs is an experience Carlos fully embraces.

“There’s a bunch of people in the world that need help, and it’s necessary,” he said.

Giving back is also important to Carlos. He has attended the Meeting Street Telethon for the past several years, donating $100 of his own money.

“Since I go to this school I don’t want it to stop,” he said. “I want to keep going here and I want to learn more. So if I give money to them we can learn more, progress more.”

Being in the classroom with children who have special needs is a unique school experience, according to Meeting Street CEO Amanda McMullen.

“Not only is Carlos getting the rigorous academics, he’s becoming a real compassionate leader and it will serve him well in the future,” she said. “Sammi gets a lot out of it too. She gets rigorous academics and everything is adapted to Sammi’s needs. She’s also becoming a dynamic leader for the future.”

The 42nd Annual Meeting Street Telethon will be held Saturday, Jan. 27 from 7-11 p.m. in Providence.