“Oh, isn’t that nice…” commented a customer on her way out of the Symmes Gate Station CVS as six Loveland High School (LHS) students made their way in.
The group was packing large canvas paintings decorated with a bright spring scene. Students designed the artwork at the request of the retail store for patrons to enjoy while using the store’s pharmacy drive-thru.
“We created a wildflower scene,” explained Molly Swaine, LHS intervention specialist with transitional classroom learning. “Our students were thrilled to be a part of a project that would be on display for the community to enjoy.”
Swaine teaches curriculum that promotes life skills and vocational training – studies supported by local businesses like CVS.
“We have worked with the Loveland CVS for years,” said Swaine. “They sell the custom notecards our students create at the checkout, and the money comes back to the students to fund class projects.”
CVS is one of eleven retailers working with Swaine’s students. Others include: Marco’s, Springdale Cleaners, LaRosa’s, The Works, Skyline, Papa John’s, El Picante, Premier Tumbling, Simply Power Yoga and the Frish’s on Wards Corner.
“The skills my students learn by putting their lessons to use are priceless to their development,” said Swaine. “We are so fortunate to have this level of community support.”
Swaine isn’t alone in her praise of the partnership. At Loveland Elementary School (LES), Mary Frees has her own list of business partners.
“These businesses help my younger students learn functional skills they need to develop,” said Frees, LES intervention specialist. “We gain exposure to the companies as well as get to use learned functional living skills in a real-life situation.”
Frees worked this past April with Kroger, Harold’s Computer Store, LCNB Bank, Loveland City Hall, Loveland City Manager Tom Carroll, Loveland Symmes Route 48 Fire Station, Premier Tumbling, Loveland City Schools Transportation and Maintenance Department, El Picante and Dollar General to set up field trips for her younger students to gain exposure to the companies.
“It is just a win-win situation,” said Swaine. “The business is providing an avenue for student growth and the students provide a service while learning. You can see their eyes light up when they see they are making an impact outside of the classroom,” said Swaine. “We are proud to work with these partners, and hope the relationships continue.”
Photo caption (L to R): Janie Skiba, Kris Timpe, Kyle Meineke, Drew Anderson and David Meineke