January 2019

          A LABBB Collaborative        Newsletter
   Sharing best practices for promoting inclusive opportunities         for  students with special needs 

LABBB Alumni at the Winter Classic  
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri
Old Time Hockey
A "Classic" Community!

We love the Bruins at LABBB. This past month many of our students participated in a photo shoot with Bruins players and are featured in the new Boston Bruins Calendar. We also attend a few Bruins games every year on our evening recreation trips. 

We have noticed that many of our students wear Bruins gear! Boston is a hockey town. Of course, we love our Patriots too, but I think hockey was just in our blood since the Bruins started in 1924. 

I was excited to watch the 2019 Winter Classic. What a game it was between the Bruins and the Blackhawks at Notre Dame! Two original six teams, it doesn't get better than that! During one of the commercial breaks they showed clips of a floor hockey game. I nearly fell off my chair when I noticed it was a team of mostly LABBB alumni from Belmont Sport! I immediately saw Danny, Sam, Bryce, Kurt and many others! 

Back in the early 90's I remember that LABBB had quite the floor hockey team at Belmont Sport. This was serious business. They traveled across the country to play games and it was always a big event. I never expected to see this, but what a treat it was. The picture at the top is all of the alumni at Notre Dame. 

We see and hear that many LABBB alumni still connecting with each other. LABBB alumni seem to be omnipresent. This is our future community and we want to keep building it. The LABBB parent alumni group has been active and LABBB is now offering more evening, weekend and alumni dances for our alumni. We our committed to making sure that our future graduates continue to have social opportunities with their LABBB peers. 

P atric
LABBB Students Bring Holiday Cheer!
By: Laurie Harrington, MSW, LICSW
During the month of December, many of the LABBB High School students participated in a Student Santa Program. This is a student led holiday charitable program coordinated by the student government at Waltham High School. For many years, LABBB students have had the unique opportunity to partner with WHS to participate in this worthy cause. Participating LABBB classrooms are assigned a child, (or in some cases two) to sponsor. Each classroom knows only the age and gender of their assigned child.   Students donate and collect money towards gifts for these children who would otherwise not receive any. As a group, each class creates a shopping budget, identifies appropriate gifts, shops, and completes the process with gift wrapping. Typically, this has been a very unique, thoughtful, and educational experience for our students. We have asked the participating students that they donate their own money, or find some way to earn their donation. We have found that this process usually enables them to find more meaning in their contribution. It is really quite amazing to witness the immense compassion and caring nature of our students to these children in need. Students' family members and LABBB staff have graciously and generously supported this endeavor as well.  As a result, this year, LABBB students brightened the spirits of 12 of the 350 total students who were sponsored in this event.
The month long efforts of our students culminated in attending the annual Student Santa Assembly at Waltham High School. All of the gifts from the entire program were on display and there was a fabulous concert featuring performances of seasonal favorites by the WHS band, chorus, and orchestra. There was a surprise visit from Santa himself which brought excitement and joy to all! Thanks and gratitude to everyone who helped to make Student Santa such a success!
Gifts Galore At Arlington High School
By: Keren Averback - SLP, Janet Sullivan - SLP, Sarah Ervin - OT
Students in the Arlington High School classrooms participated in their annual holiday gift exchange during their Speech/OT and transition classes. First, each student interviewed another classmate to learn more about his or her likes, interests, and favorite things. Next, the students ventured off to the store where they practiced their social, community, and purchasing skills while shopping for a gift for a friend. Students also had to practice perspective taking skills while shopping as they thought about their friends' likes, rather than their own. Then, fine motor skills were at work as the students wrapped the gifts they purchased. Finally, social language and interactions were abound as the students exchanged gifts with one another. Smiles filled the classrooms as students enjoyed unwrapping the gifts they received!

Clinical Corner: New Year...Not Necessarily New You
By: Kaitlin Taylor

Happy New Year! This time of year often gets people in the mood to start a new routine, diet, habit, or commit to a new lifestyle. While that is all fine and good, it can also be a time to look at your current routines, diets, habits, and lifestyle and realize what is already working well.

For example, your family may have just finally gotten into the school year groove of going to bed on time, packing lunches the night before, or getting onto the school van without any hiccups. Whatever you are doing, keep doing it if it works for you and your family!

If you are determined to start something new as the year begins, remember to make your goal reasonable and achievable. This will increase the likelihood of your following through and succeeding in the long run.
Here's What's Cooking at Corporate Chefs
By: Paula Quinn
At the end of another busy year at Corporate Chefs on Network Drive in Burlington, the team takes time out to enjoy a little holiday fun. LABBB is a quintessential part of the daily operation in this fast-paced corporate cafeteria. Our students work side by side with professional chefs, preparing breakfast and lunch for nearly 650 hungry employees from 10 different companies. LABBB students also assist with Corporate Chefs' daily catering service for breakfast, lunch, and many after-hours corporate events.

Along with preparing food and running the dish room, the culinary interns are learning about food safety, sanitation, and recycling. They are also developing valuable life skills such as problem solving, time management, and basic mathematics, not to mention the social skills that come with team work. Many LABBB graduate s who have been trained in this kitchen are now gainfully employed in the food industry.

LABBB has partnered with the property management company, now Nordblom, for nearly 20 years. Over this time, they have connected us with many food service companies, Corporate Chefs being the most recent. LABBB has been working with Corporate Chefs for about a year and a half and the experience has been nothing but positive. The staff are learning our mission and are glad to mentor our eager-to-learn students. They recognize how extremely valuable our crew is in the day to day tasks of a busy cafeteria. All students work hard developing their strengths and improving their weaknesses on an individual basis, proving that our work motto, "I CAN AND I WILL, WATCH ME", is spot on. With that being said, bring on 2019!

Meadow Mist Farm
By: Karen  Scopetski
Every Wednesday I get to take students to Meadow Mist Farm for a Labbb Internship. Many of the farm tasks are routine and happen year-round such as collecting eggs, feeding cows and hens, mucking stalls, washing and filling the water buckets, and servicing customers. Other jobs are seasonal, involving special care for young chicks, turkey s, lambs and the
ir mothers. As animals grow, some tasks change. The young hens and turkeys are moved to outdoor pens and students get involved in all the tasks related to their care. In the spring, summer and fall, students get to work with crops: planting, harvesting and preparing the fruits and vegetables for sale. There are also special projects that our students get to be a part of. This year, because there were many more hens, there was a need to build a perch, water trough, nesting boxes, all made out of wood. Some of our students were directly involved in all of these projects.
One word that comes to mind each week as the students work on the farm is teamwork. The students work together to accomplish the daily farm chores. They also are asked to solve problems as they arise and trouble shoot solutions. Students at Meadow Mist Farm have discovered what it is like to be a part of a team and they understand the goals and importance of what they are doing. Here is one recent example of team work at the farm: A baby lamb needed to be weighed. One student picked up the lamb from the pen and handed it to another student to be weighed. Both students looked on and made sure they remembered the number on the scale. Then the lamb was handed to a third student while the second student weighed himself without the lamb. The students knew that they needed to subtract the number of the student weight in order to get the weight of the baby lamb. The fourth student wanted to participate too and hold the lamb but was not sure how to do it. A student quickly offered to assist with holding the lamb. And, all the while, the baby lamb was very well cared for! Of all the skills the students get to learn on the farm, teamwork is my favorite!

Recreation News and Events
By:  Paula Rizzo, Integration and Recreation Coordinator

Please look for the following Recreation Sign up forms in your snail mail:

Wednesday Recreation

After School Trips for February & March
LABBB Dances for February 7th & March 14th

Recreation Trip Due Dates:

Altitude Park Trips - Due January 23
Dave and Buster Trips - Due February 6
Tuesday & Thursday Bowling - Due February 13
Wednesday Recreation - Due February 13

Please make sure to submit separate checks for each activity you are signing your student up for.


A LABBB Podcast

For the past 9 years, Susan has been an adjunct faculty for an online section of Developmental Disabilities in the Psychology and Education Department at Middlesex Community College. A significant part of her work has included providing professional development and training to college faculty to promote and support their use of teaching strategies and approaches using principles of universal design for instruction. The goal of this work is to create and support inclusive pedagogies and create a welcoming environment to support the success of diverse learners. 

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