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Students learn painting skills at Home Depot
Eleven students with physical or mental disabilities attending Yuma High School were given a lesson on how to paint Wednesday at Home Depot.
The presentation was given to help them prepare for life after high school.
“The transition has become a huge part of special education,” said Rhonda Ramsey, special education teacher at YHS.
“Our purpose is getting them from the school environment to the real-world environment and making those connections before they leave school.”
The demonstration was given by Dan Fickes, a paint associate at Home Depot with over 30 years of experience in the painting industry.
“It is just a wonderful feeling knowing I contribute to the youth growing up,” he said. “It builds up their character and confidence and is a good thing for them. It is real fun. I just love it.”
The students often take field trips to Home Depot, where employees help them learn everyday living skills.
“They learn small tool usage, gardening and minor repairs around the household,” Ramsey said, noting the students take similar field trips to learn independent life skills at the Crossroads Mission Thrift Store, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Heritage Branch Library, the Humane Society of Yuma and a Yuma-area farm.
The hands-on training instills confidence in the students, Ramsey said.
“Everyone wants to succeed. They are no different from everybody else. They just have to get those connections made before they leave and realize there are opportunities out there, and the community really does care. That is why we get involved with the community. They want to be recognized for their skills just like everybody else.”
Chris McDaniel can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6849.