HAZLETON — A group of special needs students were getting help from an unlikely place: a grocery store.
Some special needs students in the Hazleton Area School District don’t always spend time in a traditional classroom. We found them at the Heritage Supermarket in Hazleton. There they got training on some aspects of retail.
“It’s developing job skills for them to use upon graduation. Every Friday the store is generous enough to pick a student of the week, and they give them a $10 gift certificate,” explained Gino Molino of the Hazleton Area School District.
Justice Coxe is a senior at Hazleton Area.
“We actually pull the stuff forward and we turn stuff around and that,” said Justice. “And the truck comes and we actually put stuff on the shelves.”
In another part of the store, Louis Martinez and a friend were making salads.
“Helps me a lot cut the food for salad,” Louis said. “It will help me out at the high school.”
Store officials like helping the special needs students.
“Every year they do a little bit more and they’re learning a little bit more and it’s helping them and it helps us,” said Lorie Malloy of Heritage Supermarket.
There were about 18 students in the program, with one shift in the morning the second in the afternoon. School officials and store representatives called it a success.