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Matheny Students Volunteer as 'Pagers' at Bridgewater Library

Instructor Patricia Picchioni assists student Aaron Turovlin as he looks over the pages.
Instructor Patricia Picchioni assists student Aaron Turovlin as he looks over the pages.
Have you ever checked a book out of the library, only to find that someone had doodled on several of the pages, or perhaps spilled something that left a big stain? Well, some of the students in The Matheny School's transition program are trying to alleviate your suffering.

The Matheny School is part of the Matheny Medical and Educational Center, a special hospital and educational facility in Peapack for children and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities. The transition program is intended to boost the independence of students, both within the school and surrounding community. With that in mind, a group of Matheny students regularly visits the Bridgewater Township Library to serve as library pagers in the youth services section, looking through books to find out which pages have these blemishes. They, they put a sticky note on the damaged pages they find and turn the books over to the library staff to follow up. Some of the Matheny students are non-verbal, but, working with a school staff member, they communicate via switches or symbols. For example, a staff member will ask, "Sticky note or turn the page?", and the student will answer via a voice-activated switch or point to a symbol, indicating one of the two answers.

Other transition activities include sizing, sorting and organizing at the TJMaxx/Home Goods stores in Bridgewater and serving as office cleaners and organizers at the Gurukul Yoga Center, also in Bridgewater.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Christina Johnson February 25, 2014 at 05:12 PM
Great detective work by the pagers! I'm glad Abraham Lincoln's dignity will be restored.

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