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In September of 2016, a group of 12 students at Juno Beach Academy started creating lunches for hungry teens at two neighbouring schools. Each week of this school year the students and staff at Juno Beach came together to create 50 lunches! The program coordinator, M.J., shares:

“The Returning Grade 12 program is a program for severely disabled 18 & 19 year olds who are not yet ready to transition to adult services. The focus of the program is to facilitate learning and preparation for life after high school.

The primary focus for students is to build skills in the areas of community engagement, transit skills, work readiness, life skills, communication and social interactions. Each student has a work experience in the community, supported by Vecova work coaches. In addition to travel training on city transit, the group practices work skills and life skills including making lunches for students in need.

The BB4CK program allows these young adults to learn how to make a sandwich, count veggies/snacks, learn about a nutritious lunch, proper food prep and hygiene, work in a group, follow directions, become competent and confident, be a leader, and feel good about giving back to our community.”

One volunteer, Alla, is a Syrian refugee who arrived in Calgary with his family about a year ago. “Alla has Down Syndrome and only spoke about 6-8 words of English at the beginning of the year. He quickly learned sign language from 3 of our deaf students. He can now express himself using English or sign language quite well. Through the BB4CK program, Alla has been exposed to different foods and knows how to make/pack a nutritious lunch. He is now always willing to try some new food. He enjoys making the lunches and is quite proud when he finishes a task.”

At our recent AGM, Kim from Vecova shared a presentation about how volunteering positively impacts Vecova students. View her presentation in the video below.

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