Non-profit organizations come together to provide employment opportunities – BCTV

from the John Paul II Center for Special Learning

Two Berks County nonprofits will come together this summer to provide a new employment opportunity for students and adults with developmental disabilities The John Paul II Center for Special Learning (JPII), Shillington, will operate bar- snack at Maple Springs Pool, Birdsboro. which extends JPIIs Work Experience program through the summer as part of its Extended School Year Program.

“Throughout the school year, we work with students to build their skill set for potential employment after graduation,” explained Rene Berkhammer, JPII’s Transition Coordinator. “This new venture offers our students and graduates the opportunity to run a small business in a very limited and controlled environment.”

Beginning June 10, JPIIs Splash Pad will operate from 12-4pm, Monday through Friday, as a JPII Transition Summer Workplace While JPII job coaches are there for support and supervision, students and alumni will run the snack bar during the time. their shifts.

“This new partnership allows us to revitalize our snack bar by providing a training opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities,” said Austin Peterson, Maple Springs Pool Board President. “Although we have never done this before, we were excited to work with JPII because we know it will be successful.”

“Our students and graduates will be the face of the business. They will work with real money, improve their social skills, do inventory, learn about profit and loss in addition to food preparation,” Berkhammer shared. .

“This is a wonderful opportunity to spread acceptance and awareness of individual differences,” she continued. “We are grateful to Maple Springs Pool for investing in our students and graduates. This site is the first step toward our students and graduates finding meaningful employment.”

Located in Shillington, the John Paul II Center for Special Learning encourages children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to explore their purpose and achieve goals through unique special education and social programming.

The Maple Springs Community Pool is located along SR345 in Birdsboro and has served the community since the late 1950’s. It is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. For more information, please contact Austin Peterson at[email protected].

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