Students demonstrate items purchased by local organizations
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Students in the multiple handicapped class play a game with the Big Mac communicators. From left are, seated, Catari Schultz, Tara Derr, mulit handicapped teacher, and Brandon Stuckley; and standing are, Debbie Bokan and LaRue Fritz, members of the Lehighton American Legion Auxiliary.
Students and teachers in the multiple disabilities support and life-skills classrooms at Lehighton Area High School thanked the individuals and organizations who donated supplies to their classrooms with live demonstrations of the donated items and snacks made by the students.
Sue Anthony, long time substitute paraprofessional, and who is also a member of Lehighton Area Lioness Lions Club and Lehighton Legion Auxiliary, saw the need and asked local organizations to help out by purchasing a few items.
In all, Anthony said donations were received from Palmerton Lions, LALLC, Beltzville Lions, Lehighton Legion Auxiliary and from two anonymous donors. Palmerton Lions purchased white boards; Beltzville Lions purchased a sequencer and cordless scissors; LALLC purchased a Big Mac communicator and the Legion Auxiliary purchased a $50 iTune gift cards for use with the E-pads. Anonymous donors purchased a massager and a parachute, which will be used between the two classrooms.
"I am still waiting to hear from two more organizations," said Anthony. "We still have items that are needed."
Anthony said that the items that were donated have made a difference for the students. Some of the items are used to comfort the students, while others are used for educational games or within the classroom's curriculum.
"I can't thank you enough," she said to the donors.
Also thanking the supporters were Dr. James Kraky, superintendent of Lehighton Area School District; and Tim Tkach, high school principal.
Representing the organizations were Sandy Shook, LaRue Fritz, and Debbie Bokan, Lehighton Legion Auxiliary; Linda Benner, Rich Anthony and Steven Anthony, Lehighton Area Lioness Lions; George Unangst, Palmerton Lions; and Gail Maholick, Beltzville Lions.
Kristal Orsulak, life-skills classroom teacher, said that the students in the life skills classroom use the white boards to write their names and take notes, which offers a "green" alternative and eliminating using a lot of paper. The white boards are small dry erase boards that can be erased and used over and over again.
Anthony also noted that the scissors were used by the students to make all of the decorations in the room.
"We have students who have multiple disabilities, none are the same, said Tara Derr, multi disabilities classroom. "They need help with everything, while the students in the life-skills students are able to do a lot for themselves."
Tkach said that whenever he is feeling down or having a bad day, he visits the classrooms and feels so much better because the classrooms have such an uplifting atmosphere.
Kraky said that the project to get items that are needed in the classrooms is part of the schools' "can do" attitude.
"These teachers have all the patience in the world," said Kraky.
Anthony said that she asked the teachers for a wish list and then asked Lions Clubs and other local organizations to help purchase as many items as possible.