PITTSBURG — For about an hour a day, students with disabilities get hands-on experience out in the community.

Through a program called Community Based Learning, Interlocal 637 Community Based Learning Instructors take students from Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg Middle School and Meadowlark to a business or organization to volunteer their time and “teach them about good citizenship and good manners out in the community,” Community Based Learning Instructor Debbie Potter said.

“We’re finding there are a lot of skills students can learn if they can do it, opposed to hearing about it,” Potter said.

The program is growing, Potter said, to accommodate room for more students the program is raffling a handmade 70 by 90 inch quilt pieced by Potter and quilted by Joan Westhoff to purchase a van.

“We want to purchase van,” Potter said. “Right now we have a car and with the program’s success we want to be able include all of the students [with disabilities].
“The only barrier is we need more seating in order to transport those students.”

The tickets are selling for $1 per ticket or $5 for six tickets and they can be purchased at Salon 9 in Pittsburg and Pearls & Curls Boutique in Girard. The drawing will be on March 1.

Potter thanked the job sites the students travel to daily, along with the restaurants which donate meals to the “Meals and Manners” program for students.

“It is through this superior community support that students volunteer up to 38 hours per week learning the social skills, citizenship, and work ethics needed to pursue eventual employment,” she said.

“We have a wonderful community job site and they have just been so gracious to work with, I can’t say enough about the community.”

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.