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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Festive Flakes

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Steve Witty, an Old National Trail student from Cloverdale, hangs a handmade paper snowflake in the Student Academic Support Services office at DePauw University on Monday. [Order this photo]
ONT students help brighten DePauw

GREENCASTLE -- The holidays may be over, but the Student Academic Support Services offices at DePauw University still look festive thanks to a gift from students of Old National Trail.

A group of ONT students stopped by DePauw's Harrison Hall Monday morning to deliver and hang handmade paper snowflakes.

Pam Roberts, coordinator for student disability services and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance at DePauw, said she saw the snowflakes when she recently visited ONT, a special education cooperative serving students from North Putnam, South Putnam, Cloverdale, Eminence and Mill Creek.

The ONT students, who ranged in age from 14-22, are always looking for opportunities to do service projects.

"We do a lot of community service," said ONT teacher Linda Schroeder. "We volunteer at the park, the humane shelter, the sports parks, the museum and the library."

Volunteering is one way ONT teachers give lessons on life skills.

"Hopefully, if they've volunteered as students, as adults they'll feel like they're part of the community," Schroeder said. "I think it's also important for the community to see the students out doing good things."

Roberts has a significant background in special education. She was a special education teacher at Mill Creek for eight years, then at Cloverdale for 10 years. She then went back to Mill Creek as a special education administrator for several years before she took her current position at DePauw in August.

Roberts said she works with DePauw students who struggle with learning disabilities, attention disorders and physical handicaps.

Jeremy Wilson, an ONT student from North Putnam, talks to DePauw University coordinator for student disability services Pam Roberts.
"It's nice to be able to see the transitions that happen for the students as they come into DePauw," she said.

Roberts said she is working to "change the dynamics of this office to make it more of an outreach for students."

"The university is very interested in strengthening ties with the community," Roberts said. "Bringing students in from ONT is just a small way to do that."

DePauw's women's volleyball and basketball teams donated t-shirts to give to the ONT students.

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