Students Visit Feline Center For Disability Mentor Day

Students from Chautauqua Learn & Serve Charter School visited the Bear Creek Feline Center Wednesday morning for this years Disability Mentor Day.

The center was one of the many organizations to take part in this year's program.

"A lot of our students whether autistic or any other different disability do not get the opportunity to interact because a lot of people don't understand our students. So it's great when community members open the doors and let our special guys come and hang out," said Misty Fowler.

"We give them the chance to get up close and personal with these cats, legally and safely," said Jim Broaddus, founder of the Bear Creek Feline Center. "They get to reach out and touch."

The students learned plenty of valuable information about the 25 different cats at the center which ranged from mountain lions to bobcats, but it wasn't just the students that got to learn something. Those around them were able to see the kids interact in a special way that had an effect on them as well.

"I really saw one of the kids breakthrough," said Alexandra Brielmayer, a volunteer at the center. "He went into the bobcat cage and was so nervous and shy and really didn't know what to expect cause it wasn't in his world like it might be mine...but he really broke through and realized there's nothing to worry about."

Officials with the school hope to go back to feline center again next year.

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