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News from the Bankbridge Development Center

2009 has brought exciting experiences for the students at the Bankbridge Development center. The elementary students from Peggy, Deanna, Angela and Danielle’s class participated in an assembly where the Rutgers 4- H Youth Development program read and presented a hand puppet play of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. While Lori, Joanne and Kristen dedicated a day to Dr. Seuss, unfortunately our visit from “The Cat in the Hat” was cancelled because of a snow day. Lori, Joanne and Kristen’s students will be enjoying a community outing to Discovery Museum on February 18, 2009. Justin’s, Nicole’s, Nancy’s and Erin’s class participated in expanding their community based education opportunities to McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut. Sharon, Mary Bernadette, Ashley and Jackie also participated in McDonald’s, Pat’s Pizza and Target to introduce job sampling to their students. Opportunities to participate in GCIT’s Athletic Fitness Center and Bakery, Target, Bottino’s Shop Rite, where job skills are being expanded to various responsibilities continue to show success. Chrissy, Blair, Valerie and Carly’s students are hard at work at these environments stocking shelves, bagging groceries, custodial and house keeping activities to name a few. The students are enjoying interacting with the community and now have “regular” customers while out working.
Heather’s students visited “Old Country Buffet” for their Community Based Instruction where all enjoyed new experiences.

During the school day, the A wing students participated in a woodworking project by our teacher Bob Pauro. Lowes donated little wood racecar kits, which have been greatly accepted by the younger students in our program. The students are building the cars, utilizing hammer and nails, sanding, then painting them for themselves and for our school store. Bob’s wood working students have also successfully built two sewing boxes, two bird feeders and a small classroom toolbox for every classroom to organize their pencils, pens and markers.

We congratulate our Teacher of the Year Erin Hernandez who will be recognized during our May 6, 2009, Special Education Celebration at the Bankbridge Regional School. Erin has been with our district for 6 years and has been with the Bankbridge Development Center as a middle school teacher for 2 years. Erin is dedicated to her mission of educating her students and is loyal to GCSSSD’s philosophy and high standard of teaching. Our sincere congratulations go out to Erin and we only wish her years of professional success!!

The Bankbridge Development Center also would like to introduce our new teacher Sharon Kiil, who teaches in our Elementary Wing. Sharon comes to us from Newport Behavioral Health and Douglas Developmental Disabilities Center. We are excited to have you with us at the BDC. Welcome aboard Sharon. We also welcome aboard our new nurse Chris Boucot, who has been employed as a school nurse in various school districts in our area. In addition, we welcome back two former paraprofessional staff members, Rebecca Wadsworth who teaches in Justin Dickerman’s class and Amy Brucker who teaches in Carly Crehan’s class. It is nice to see your smiling faces walking around the school. Last but not least after delivering a beautiful baby boy in October, Chrissy Orihel has return to her second family in our high school wing. It wasn’t easy to leave him, but Chrissy was truly missed. We thank Kevin Boyle for taking over while she was out on Chrissy’s classroom as the teacher for the past four months. We are pleased to have everyone back to work at the BDC.

We will be celebrating the spring with a music and dance performance by a select group of students. Date and Time will be sent home soon. As always we look forward to seeing you share in the talents of our students.

Posted on February 20, 2009