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Life Skills picnic held in Benton

Students from Columbia County gathered for an end-of-the-school-year picnic on Monday.

BENTON, Pa. — Life Skills students from across Columbia County gathered at Benton Community Park for an end-of-school-year picnic.

"We have Southern Columbia, Benton, Millville, Northwest, and Berwick School districts," said Mary Rose Latorre, the special education director.

"They are all high school and some middle school, so ranging from 7th to 12th grade," said Klohe Faatz, a special education teacher.

There was music, face painting, balloon animals, and more. Kids also got some time to shoot hoops and play in the park. All of the students had smiles on their faces. 

"It is fun, and I love school. School is amazing," said Kayla Winter of Benton.

"It is kind of cool. I like the playground here, and I had fun over on that side," said Van Soltis of Millville.

The annual picnic is normally held in Millville, but this year it was moved to Benton. Organizers say it's a way to give the kids an end-of-school-year release.

"It is exciting to have them out. We have food, a lot of games for the kids, and music," added Latorre.

"I think it is awesome for them to be able to talk with one another and feel that they are welcomed," said Faatz.

Ninth grader Kayla Winter loves the annual picnic. She was excited to see her friends.

"It is pretty nice. It makes me happy," Winter said.

Organizers say the picnic will return once again next year.

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