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BOCES Seeks Donations for Life Skills Apt. in Yorktown

YORKTOWN, N.Y.-- At the Putnam Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services, learning doesn’t stop at the classroom.

Administrators and community members have come together to show that learning is a part of everyday life with the construction of a life skills apartment which will give students the opportunity to practice independent living skills before they graduate.

“This apartment has been a dream of our special education department for three years and we’re very appreciative of the local businesses that have joined us in this endeavor,” said Robert Kelderhouse, supervisor of special education at BOCES. “We want to teach kids all the skills they are going to need to enter the adult world at the highest level possible.”

The project, which was originally constructed by Tech Center students, is due to be completed in September and has been made possible with the help of volunteers such as Franzoso Contracting, Atlantic Appliance, NAC, Peco and West Fair Electric.

Despite the help however, BOCES is still in need of help to complete the apartment. Flooring, furniture, clothing, towels, pots and pans are still in demand to complete the project.

“These are difficult financial times for everyone, including schools,” said James Langlois, superintendent of PNW BOCES. “In spite of these difficulties, we believe we must try to provide these special students, many of whom will be moving into group homes as adults, with the opportunities only this apartment can make available. That is why community support is so critical.”

The apartment is located in a separate building on the Yorktown campus, which is being made to look like a one-bedroom apartment. The students will be taught how to use appliances, make beds, laundry, and clean. There will also be a place for activities and interaction with peers. The apartment will also have a classroom, which will allow for students to visit the apartment once or twice a week to practice daily living skills with a special education teacher.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Apartment for Living Skills should contact Robert Kelderhouse at rkelderhouse@pnwboces.org

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