A Nonprofit Community Enterprise

LEAP Learning Goes Virtual

This spring and summer, with COVID-19 upending support programs everywhere, ReSOURCE’s training program staff needed to pivot to accommodate social distancing while providing a meaningful, interactive, online, work based learning experience for students. Fortunately, this virus-influenced lemon inspired lemonade alchemy. ReSOURCE’s Learn, Earn and Prosper (LEAP) program for visually impaired students, ages 14-21, has reinvented its Summer Work Experience residency into a virtual event, bringing students from across New England together to team up online for a variety of fun, lively skill-developing workshops.

One such session, “I Chose My Own Adventure,” offers students a choice between meetups with motivational speakers such as Molly Burke,a blind YouTube influencer with over 2 million subscribers; learning how to grow vegetables and gain food preparation skills with the Vermont Community Garden Network; enlisting in a Jump Rope Challenge, using a cordless jump rope to meet weekly jump roping goals; and a Culinary Camp where they prepare one meal a week, including shopping for supplies. Cooking instruction per recipe will be guided through a YouTube video and includes a weekly Q&A with Vermont celebrity chef Lance Purnell. Enrollment is up and there has been interest from countries around the world.

A recently completed virtual program, LEAP’s story telling elective program, run by Susan Schmidt from MOTH, was a student favorite.The Elder Story Project is an initiative intended to connect blind and visually impaired youth with older Americans in their community through the power of first-person true narrative. The goal of the project was to enhance written and oral communication skills among the youth and increase a connectedness across generations. At first uncomfortable with their assignment, the young writers discovered a kinship through the stories their subjects shared with them. Their completed narratives are heartwarming and insightful.

Click below to listen to a selection of their stories.


Reflections of a Teacher

The Train Station

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