Alfaretta Transition Program students make a difference by helping others
Alfaretta Transition Program students recently spent the day scooping and packing beans and lentils at the Emergency Food Network in Lakewood for families in need. Alfaretta students are one of 10 volunteer groups that bagged 4,600 pounds of food that day for distribution to local food banks.
“It’s a very rewarding experience knowing that no one will go hungry,” said 20-year-old Bobby Costello.
Alfaretta students are part of Clover Park School District’s Special Education program. The transition program is located at Alfaretta House which is designed for special education students â€“ determined through an Individualized Educational Plan and aged 18-21 â€“ who need extra training and support to take that next step to independence in their lives.
This is the first year students have participated in projects like this in the community. In addition to helping at the Emergency Food Network, students shred paper at Lakewood City Hall, organize clothes at Goodwill, tag and hang clothes at the Fort Lewis Thrift Shop and bag food for families in need. It helps the students get into the community and interact with others. When students aren’t helping in the community, they learn life skills like cooking, cleaning, laundry and money management. There are currently 15 students in the program.
“Each student comes to Alfaretta House with a goal for what they want to do with their lives,” said job coach and paraeducator Linda Allan. “The Alfaretta House program is like a family and allows students to grow and trust one another.”
Paraeducator Linda Allan (center) and Alfaretta Transition Program students pack food for local food banks.