Key school-supplies resource imperiled just as it’s needed most
IT IS timely that, three days after the school supply source Extras for Creative Learning was forced out of the space it was using at Boston Latin Academy because of permitting and fire code concerns, the Globe acknowledges that teachers provide for their students out of their own pockets (“Budgets cut, teachers dig deeper for supplies,’’ Page A1, Sept. 5). ExCL is a great program that provides its members from BPS and surrounding communities access to recycled materials to use in educational programs. Discards from various sources are picked up by ExCL and offered to members at a minimal yearly cost, saving the environment from needless waste. In the past year, I have saved more than $2,900 in materials by going to ExCL on only six visits.
My special-needs students have benefited from this invaluable resource for the past 20 years, as I have created materials in too many ways to mention. Just this past summer, autistic students in the Extended Summer Year at the Haynes Early Education Center in Dorchester used these valuable materials to understand basic literacy concepts such as listening, relating to characters, and following story lines.
Where is the cooperation among Superintendent Carol Johnson, the School Committee, and the City Council in securing space for this program? So many teachers and related service providers rely on ExCL for items that the schools would never be able to provide. In this economic climate, this is a resource that needs to continue.
The writer is an occupational therapist in the Boston Public Schools.