VBCPS - Charting the Course
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rosemary Gladden
Date: 07/11/19 Phone: 757.263.1229
News Release No. 003 Fax: 757.263.1010
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Email: rosemary.gladden@vbschools.com

Special education classroom gets makeover
thanks to businesses

A Pembroke Elementary School classroom used to support students with disabilities is getting an estimated $100,000 makeover thanks to a partnership between Virginia Beach City Public Schools, First Atlantic Restoration's Give First foundation and the Home Depot. The classroom set up helps students to master independent, daily living skills such as cooking and other household tasks. Demolition begins July 15 with scheduled completion Aug. 15.

"Students are in here at least once a week for cooking, but we want to make it more than that," according to Pembroke Elementary School Principal Dr. Linda Hayes. "We want to make it more of a center where students are taught skills that will enhance daily living."

Students with various disabilities attend the school from across the city for special education programming. Teachers have access to this classroom to conduct lessons on daily living skills in real-life context.

When finished, the now partially-functioning kitchen with outdated cabinets and stove will resemble a fully-functional studio with rooms that are American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. The kitchen will feature new cabinets, flooring, ceiling tiles, countertops, appliances and LED lights to make the space brighter. In addition, the bedroom, living room and laundry areas will enable children to practice such skills as washing, folding, and storing clothes or making a bed.

First Atlantic Restoration's Give First foundation, Home Depot and the school division's offices of Maintenance and Facilities Services are collaborating by providing design expertise, volunteers, labor and materials. The project got off the ground when a small group of school administrators and staff met in December to discuss possibilities. Rachel Curry, the school's new program compliance support teacher had heard of the foundation's charitable projects and knew First Atlantic Restoration President David Collier, who didn't hesitate to help when he heard of the project.

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Department of Media and Communications, vbcpsweb@vbschools.com

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