Minisink Valley’s interschool efforts benefit students in many ways, such as in the work high school’s Career Achievement Program (CAP) students regularly do at the Intermediate and Elementary buildings.
CAP helps students with special needs develop the necessary skills for success in the workplace. It focuses on developing higher level vocational skills and hands-on learning through in-house employment opportunities. It’s been in place at the high school since September 2002 and run by teachers Ilka Peters and Christine Ertola.
A recent example is the design and installation of a Sprinting Track at the Elementary School by CAP student William Lachenal, who serves as an adapted physical education helper. The building’s K-2 students use it during their recess time.
In athletics, a sprint, also called a dash, is a footrace over a short distance with an all-out or nearly all-out burst of speed. This type of racing is among the oldest running competitions.
“The kids just love this,” said Theresa Uhelsky, adapted physical education teacher, who has been working with CAP students on physical education projects. “They love racing against their friends at recess, and they’re getting a very basic introduction to the track and field activities that many of older students participate in. I bet some of these little students will be our future varsity sprinters. Plus, they’re getting a great workout experience while having fun.”
Sensory pathway floor stickers
William and CAP student Andrew Cesarz also completed the installation of sensory pathway floor stickers for younger students, which now connect the Intermediate School’s A Gym to the nearby student bathrooms.
“The kids will have fun when they walk from the gym over to the bathrooms,” Andrew said as he and William strategically placed the stickers on the flooring. “They can count, they can jump on the logs and frogs and numbers. The arrows tell them where to go.”
Sensory floor decals are designed to attract and retain the attention of children to help them further refine gross motor skills like balance, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness. There are many different types of sensory floor stickers designed to encourage students to jump and hop, and follow paths and directions. They are great way to integrate movement activities with classroom learning.
“We’re grateful to our colleagues for finding these wonderful collaborative opportunities for our CAP students,” said Mrs. Ertola. “These opportunities also help our students increase their independence and self-esteem, develop better focus, concentration and listening skills focus, improve concentration, enhance listening skills and learn the pre-vocational skills needed to maintain employment. It’s a win-win for everyone.”