Washington High School Students volunteer in the community to help local childrenPublished 12:53am Thursday, March 28, 2013
In early February, Mrs. Christenberry, career development and special populations coordinator at Washington High School, received an email from Allison Crisp who does contract occupational therapy with Beaufort County Schools. Crisp also operates the nonprofit support group ACCEPT in Washington for parents and children who may be different and have special needs. Together, the volunteers, parents and children under the ACCEPT group educated the community on acceptance of children who may be different and have special needs. Fun days are hosted for children with various special needs once a month when Beaufort County Schools have a teacher workday and camps during the summer months. In the past, Crisp was blessed with teens volunteering, but many have now graduated and moved on to further their education or started careers. Crisp had seen fliers about the internship and job-shadowing program at Washington High School and was hoping that Christenberry may have contact with students who may be interested in volunteer hours.
Information about the ACCEPT program and the need for volunteers was shared with students by the career and technical education teachers at Washington High School. Several students expressed an interest and picked up the information letter and permission-to-volunteer forms and received additional information from Christenberry. Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age, have a minimum of a C average, have no disciplinary problems, demonstrate maturity, cooperativeness, the ability to work with others and do well with young children with special needs.
Four completed/approved ACCEPT volunteer applications were then sent to Crisp. On March 8, during the BCS teacher workday, four WHS students volunteered at the ACCEPT fun-day event. Crisp stated that each young lady did an outstanding job, wanted to know when the next opportunity to volunteer their time would be and really took charge with different children. Washington High School and Beaufort County Schools’ career and technical education program plans to continue supporting the ACCEPT program for years to come.