Linking Lives buddies celebrate Halloween

Members of the East Ascension High School National Honor Society joined their Linking Lives buddies for a classroom to classroom trick or treat run on Halloween, teacher Debbie Ellis Cochrane said.

Teachers and students provided treats for the annual event, she said.

Through Linking Lives, students become friends with students they would not normally interact with, Cochrane said.

“The program fosters friendships between students with intellectual and developmental exceptionalities and those without,” she said. “The friendships often form and create a natural momentum that leads to a connection outside of class.”

The benefits are twofold, she said.

“It not only promotes acceptance of students with exceptionalities, but it also helps them learn to socialize and make and maintain friendships with other students,” she said.

The students in National Honor Society learn life lessons in the process, she said.

“It’s a win-win situation for all involved,” Cochrane said.

NHS students met with their buddies before Halloween and found out what they wanted to dress as for Halloween. Then, she said, each group dressed up and provided a costume for their buddy.

Students paraded around the school in variety of costumes, including Scooby Doo, cheerleaders, Drew Brees, the Incredible Hulk and Mario. The event ended with a party and games in the school gym.

Linking Lives is made possible thanks to National Honor Society’s Jamie Andrews, who partners her students with Cochrane’s, Phil Bloom’s and Sheila Well’s classes of students.

In addition to the Halloween celebration, there are several events held throughout the year including a Christmas party, a Mardi Gras parade and an Easter egg hunt.

Cochrane said the students are about to start working on the Krewe of Cochrane Mardi Gras parade.

Anyone wishing to volunteer or help with the Mardi Gras parade can call Cochrane at (225) 621-2400 or email her at