Students and Readers Benefit from Newspaper Delivery Course at NDSS – Nanaimo News Bulletin

Nanaimo District High School students strengthen their memory and social skills by delivering the newspaper.

Dee Hartig, a teacher at Nanaimo Ladysmith Public School, explains that Nanaimo District High School’s Skills for Life program is made up of students with unique learning needs, including students with developmental disabilities and chronic diseases.

A paper route from the Nanaimo News Bulletin near Wakesiah Avenue High School was available and Cathy Murphy, an educational assistant, has the bundles delivered to her home and brings them to class for delivery on Wednesday. Under the supervision of staff, five students deliver to 32 homes, using a cart borrowed from a parent.

Hartig said staff are looking for work and volunteer opportunities for students, and those opportunities have been harder to come by in the past two years. The idea is for students to gain independence and work experience for their resume, and Murphy said students also improve their cognitive skills.

“They remember which houses to go, remember how the papers come in, whether they go in the hook or inside the mailbox or that way,” she said. “They’re brave enough to go into someone’s backyard on their own, try to have that bit of independence. [It’s] really life experiences, learning how to handle other people’s dogs in their yard or how different people want their papers, just those little things.

The students have delivered papers over the past two years, Hartig said, and they work well with each other.

“I think the time we’ve been outside and doing this work together, I think the kids have really become friends,” Hartig said. “It’s the first group I’ve had, and I’ve had for 17 years, of kids who are actually friends… who also hang out outside of school. Walking in the community and doing something like this together has been really helpful because they practice those social skills that we use. They are true peers.

The money earned is put back into the program of activities, treats and supplies.

“I like doing term papers because it’s for money to do cool, fun stuff,” said Liam McMillan, one of the students.

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