Community Awareness Profile
ELC 694 - Cultural and Political Dimensions of Schooling
Stoner-Thomas School, Lexington, NC
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.
J. SMITH YOUNG 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."
The ARC of Davidson County is the cornerstone for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities throughout the community.
Annual Community Resource Fair
Targeted to students age 14 and older, the Community Resource Fair helps families and students make a transition plan from school age to adulthood.
More to Learn
More to Learn is an after-care facility for school-age children with special needs (and typically developing siblings and peers) serving families after school and on teacher workdays.
Annual Community Resource Fair
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
The staff at the ARC are a small but passionate group of advocates for all people with special needs in Davidson County.
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."