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Special Needs Students Volunteer at Harry Chapin Food Bank
Students from the Goodwill L.I.F.E. Academy volunteered at the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers. The L.I.F.E. Academy is a tuition-free, open-enrollment Lee County charter school for middle/high school students with developmental disabilities.
Two groups of eight students worked at the Food Bank’s fast-paced warehouse, sorting breads for shipping. The activity was part of the school’s community-based learning curriculum.
“Harry Chapin Food Bank has organized areas that allow students to work in an assembly line to sort food products,” explains L.I.F.E. Academy instructor Sheena Paivandy. “Our students practiced math, vocational, and social skills on the job. They learned one-to-one correspondence in marking off bar codes, and practiced math sorting as they placed products into categories.”
The L.I.F.E. Academy students also learned about hunger issues in our community while volunteering at the Food Bank.
“The Food Bank has been very warm in extending days and times for students to volunteer,” continues Paivandy. “Some of our students have even gone back to volunteer outside of school!”
L.I.F.E. Academy students also recently learned more vocational skills while volunteering at BJ’s Wholesale Club in Cape Coral.
“Volunteering and shadowing experiences are important for our students because they receive the opportunity to observe different types of vocations,” says Paivandy. “At the same time, they receive support from experts and veterans in that field. Having support from career personnel is important because students have a model to imitate and provide guidance.”
The Goodwill L.I.F.E. Academy is a tuition-free, open-enrollment Lee County charter school for middle and high school students with developmental disabilities. The school’s curriculum is designed to promote self-advocacy, and develop life skills for independent living, by focusing on academic skills, daily life skills and vocational/workforce skills.
The L.I.F.E. Academy is currently accepting students for 2013 enrollment. For more information about the Goodwill L.I.F.E. Academy, please visit the school’s website at http://www.GoodwillLIFEAcademy.org.