Learning life lessons

Friday, April 6, 2012
Old National Trail Special Services students worked on the landscaping surrounding Greencastle High School this week. Tommy Beasley worked on mulching the beds near the school's entrance.

Teaching life skills through application is the goal of Old National Trail Special Services. Students, who may be learning deficient, are able to apply what is being taught in the classroom to real-life projects in their community.

Although not related, Old National Trail is located in the Area 30 building. The program is for those students who may have special needs. Students are broken into different categories such as severe, mild-moderate and medium-severe, with a goal of providing a comfortable atmosphere where students are encouraged to learn and become contributing members of society and to their community.

All children who attend Old National Trail are from outlying schools, Eminence, North and South Putnam, Cloverdale and Mill Creek.

The past week Old National Trail students have been participating in a landscaping project at Greencastle High School, which allows students to apply what they learned in the classroom to a real project.

"We help teach tem life and job skills," said Old National Trail job coach Chris Elsbrock. "Landscaping is an option for juniors and seniors."

The landscaping students have been busy with several projects around the community at such places as the Greencastle McDonald's as well as several area homes, who actually seek out the program.

"They do landscaping all over the place," said Old National Trail job coach Janet Gaston. "We charge a little bit for the kids' labor which helps reinvest in the program.

The current project consists of weeding, mulching as well as laying river rock around the high school.

"We've really made great progress," said Gaston. "We're basically cleaning up the beds around the school."

Cora Daniels (top right) worked on installing landscape fabric which will later hold river rock.

Each day, students work from 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. It is estimated that the students will finish up their work at Greencastle High School on Monday.

James Calahan, Branden O'Brian and Mason Porter worked on weeding the flower beds in front of Greencastle High School.
It was a team effort for Old National Trail students, Branden O'Brian, Derek Cain, Adam Maudlin, Steen Witty, Mason Porter amd James Calahan. Students in a landscaping class cleaned up the flower beds, mulched and laid down river rock around Greencastle High School this week.
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