Class Gains Confidence By Helping Local Community

Michelle Kocour and Lauren Williams co-teach the San Marcos Unified School District’s Adult Transition Program for students between the ages of 18 and 22 who have moderate to severe disabilities. The program’s mission is to support students in their transition from high school to adult life through classroom and community-based experiences that build on a student’s interests and abilities, including cooking and laundry skills, mobility training, volunteer or work experiences, shopping, money skills, college fitness classes, and recreational activities.

While many of the students might not be employed after school or in the future, they enjoy giving back to the community and working on projects to help others. This school year they created cards for veterans and senior citizens, as well as a paper quilt for the San Marcos fire station. The students decided, however, that they wanted to undertake a larger community service project: to create homemade hygiene bags for those in need. Michelle’s mother made bags for the class to fill with donated hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, deodorant, soap, razors, and even small toys, hair bows, bubbles, and pencils. The assembly process was not always an easy task for the students, but they gained confidence and joy through their successes.

In mid-May the class traveled to Interfaith Community Services, a center that provides shelter, food, and other services to the homeless and in-need populations of North County San Diego. The students were thrilled and proud to be able to deliver their bags to those who need them. The experience also offered the opportunity to show the community that people with disabilities do in fact have abilities that are far greater than outward appearances.