Stoner-Thomas School

Community Awareness Profile

ELC 694 - Cultural and Political Dimensions of Schooling

Spring 2016

Sedley Abercrombie

Stoner-Thomas School, Lexington, NC

Stoner-Thomas School is a K-12 school in the heart of Davidson County that serves approximately 100 special needs students from all over the county. This is a profile of some of the community agencies that serve and support the students and staff at Stoner-Thomas.
Big image

Student Internships

Martha Maness is the Family and Consumer Science Teacher for Davidson County High School. In addition to being the director of the Teen Parent Program at DCS, Maness teaches an advanced studies class that provides student interns to Stoner-Thomas school. The class is a semester long and requires students to spend 3 class periods at Stoner-Thomas. The first 9 week the students move around the school shadowing teachers and the second nine weeks settle in with one assigned teacher as an aide.

Student interns assist teachers by working with small groups or individual students, making copies, bulletin boards or even just helping students move about the school. For most of the interns, this is their first "work" experience as we are a rural county and jobs for teens are sparse.

Each week, the DCHS students document their experiences in a journal and at the end of the semester students turn in a 10 page paper. Maness remarks that even the students that are hesitant in the beginning grow to love the staff and students at Stoner-Thomas. For many this is their first opportunity to spend any time with people with special needs. This past semester, her students organized a toy drive for the school store collecting boxes of prizes that special needs students can "shop" for as rewards for positive behavior. The campaign was a huge successs.

Not only do interns learn valuable job skills, but the students at Stoner-Thomas enjoy making new friends from the nearby high school.

Big image


The J. SMITH YOUNG YMCA in Lexington is a non-profit facility that provides recreation and programs to families and community members. Students at Stoner-Thomas enjoy weekly visits to the YMCA.

I asked programs director, Jen Fuller-Allen, exactly how the YMCA serves students at Stoner-Thomas. Although the Y doesn't provide staffing or direct services to students, they do allow Stoner-Thomas to use the facilities free of charge. Teachers and staff from Stoner-Thomas bring students every Friday where they get to use the pool, the gym and all it's equipment and the bowling alley. Stoner-Thomas does have use of the facility other times if requested.

Parent, Jeanna H., says her daughter's favorite activity is the rolling boards in the gym. She says that "the Y is an amazing place for those kids. It's great that they have access to activities that they wouldn't normally be able to access."

Founded in 1964 as a non-profit, the ARC of Davidson County is a invaluable collective of resources and advocacy for families and persons with special needs. The ARC serves people of all ages providing both information and services to those in need. The ARC helps to navigate the waters, steering families to funding, housing, education and occupational services that best meet their needs.

The ARC of Davidson County serves many of the students at Stoner-Thomas and helps families understand the options available to families outside of school.

Some of the services supported:

  • More to Learn after-care program
  • Annual Community Resource Fair
  • Supervised Living Residences
  • Summer Camp
  • Respite Care
  • Education and Training
  • Advocacy

The staff at the ARC are a small but passionate group of advocates for all people with special needs in Davidson County.

Big image
The Workshop of Davidson County has been serving community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 50 years. Although they don't serve Stoner-Thomas students on a daily basis, they regularly communicate with the school and families about programs available and often become part of the transition plan for Stoner-Thomas graduates. The Workshop currently serves about 65 individuals ages 16 and up, and about 40% of them were Stoner-Thomas students at one time.

The Workshop provides a day program that provides activities and occupational opportunities for it's members.

  • Innovations - small groups working primarily on cognitive skills
  • Vocational Rehab - 2 full time job coaches work with clients to help them develop job skills with the ultimate goal of regular, gainful employment
  • Daily activities such as life skills, arts, computer skills and community integration
  • Vocational Training - contract work for companies such as PPG and Kimberley-Clark

Of the services that the Workshop provides, the trend is to transition more towards the Innovations and Vocational Rehab programs rather than the piece work, however those that still participate have done so for many, many years and are said to enjoy their vocation.

The Workshop is the "home base" of the Davidson County Civitans club, a community service organization of which many Workshop residents are members. The club organizes many activities and fundraisers that give back to the community. Stoner-Thomas is often the beneficiary of the Civitan's good work.

According to the director, Mike Foster, "for many of the 65 or so members the Workshop is 'home' so to speak. Without the services that the Workshop provides, the landscape of Davidson County would look quite different."