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SWCEC volunteers are on the job

Library program offers valuable skills training

SWCEC volunteer Patty Paronto helps put away DVDs. Adam T. Silva. (click for larger version)
May 12, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — The Southern Worcester County Educational Collaborative (SWCEC) is having more and more of their special needs students taking an active role in volunteer work throughout the community.

SWCEC, which functions as a school for differently-abled students, works with the students to prepare them with job and social skills.

"The students that we serve here are from age 18 to 22 and have intellectual disabilities, such as autism and Down syndrome," said Erika Travinski, Vocational Coordinator at SWCEC. "They are all here because they are served through special education programs through their school district. We take the students out in small group settings with a job coach to a number of community settings. Like a retail setting where they can do a job internship, or to volunteer at such places like the library, Meals on Wheels or the senior center."

The students go to SWCEC until they graduate from the program or move on from school services and, "head off into the adult world." The students volunteering at the library started in September, when SWCEC reached out to Jacob Edwards Library Director Margaret Morrissey.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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