hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

School News

October 24, 2013

Effort to help special needs students develop a future is inspiring

They are the kind of students who, in the past, might have been forgotten.

Because they were learning disabled, they were far from college bound.

They might not even have been in line for a basic form of employment due to their disabilities, but moreso because of their lack of practical training.

A few years ago, they might have wound up sitting at home when their schooling was over wondering what to do next.

Their parents would worry, uncertain of what the future would bring, wishing there were a way for their kids to learn basic job skills and have a chance to work.

Enter the Learning for Life program at Haverhill High School.

The program is helping to fill the gap for these students and their families. (See story, Page 1.)

It allows the students to stay in the learning environment past the typical high school graduation age. During that time, they work in places like the City Hall Cafe, where they cook meals and tend to customers. They work in a store at Haverhill High, where they gain other job skills.

The students learn to greet people when they stop in. They learn phone skills, how to run a cash register and take inventory. They learn good old-fashioned customer service.

And they gain confidence.

Then comes the networking, which, as anyone looking for work knows, is a key. Several local companies support the program, some providing internships, others even a chance to land a job.

The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and some businesses give money to help replenish some of the items sold by the students.

This is a team effort, a refreshing project that is giving these young people a chance when they might otherwise have had none.

We applaud the educators and business people who are involved.

We urge other companies to join in, whether by donating a few dollars, creating an internship or opening up entry-level positions to these students.

The future of a young person may very well depend on it.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
School News
  • Schools protect students with food allergies Posted 30 days ago
  • hunking2

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo Dena Papanikolaou, a parent organizer, talks to parents packing a room to hear about a proposal for the new school to replace Hunking. This February meeting was a kickoff to their campaign. 2/6/14

    Bradford to get new school Posted 51 days ago 2 Photos
  • 140606_et_tje_havgrad_13

    Graduates applaud and cheer for their classmates.

    'Hillie Nation' celebrates the Class of 2014 Posted 51 days ago 6 Photos
  • Write Away!! Contest celebrates 23rd year Posted 51 days ago
  • 140603_HG_MSC_HUNKING

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo Lisa Prendergast, left, and Melissa Seavey stand with Lisa's son John, 7, as he holds a sign in support of a new school to replace Hunking School. In the background is the Hunking.

    If voters approve, new school project starts in spring Posted 58 days ago 1 Photo
  • 140529_HG_CRU_WHITTIER_29

    CARL RUSSO/Staff photo Jonathan Maker, right, of Rowley, Whittier Regional High's valedictorian at this year's graduation ceremony, and his father, Donny Maker, a graduate of Whittier's Class of 1974, hug before the ceremony.

    Father and son graduate from Whittier 40 years apart Posted 58 days ago 1 Photo
  • Thursday, May 29, 2014
  • 140522_HG_HAND_ALINA

    Courtesy photo Russian exchange student Alina Skripets, 17, plays the character Annabella in the Haverhill High School senior class production of Alfred Hitchock's "The 39 Steps." At left is senior Alex Zylkuski in the role of Richard Hannay.

    From Russia to Haverhill Posted 65 days ago 1 Photo
  • Thursday, May 22, 2014
  • necc2

    TIM JEAN/Staff photos Hayley Carlin and Elizabeth Simpson, both of Methuen, give the thumbs up sign at the start of the graduation ceremony.

    NECC graduation generates excitement Posted 72 days ago 6 Photos
  • Thursday, May 15, 2014
  • 140429_ET_ASW_TREE_3

    Tom Minichiello of the Haverhill Exchange Club helps the students in Judy Reilly's first-grade class sort, bag and tag pine saplings, for distribution by the club to first-graders in Haverhill, Groveland and Salem, N.H.

    Tiny trees for tiny kids Posted 79 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, May 8, 2014
  • 140502_HG_RHU_HEARTS_004

    Sacred Hearts first-grader Grace Wafford shows off her image of what she thinks she will look like at 75 years old.

    Cherishing the past, celebrating the present Posted 86 days ago 5 Photos

Photos of the Week
Stocks