Students in special education teacher Deborah Livingston-Lowe’s class at William J McCordic School are famous for delivering Beach Metro News – or at least they’re famous to their classmates.
Livingston-Lowe’s class of six girls deliver Beach Metro News every two weeks in the school’s neighbourhood, northeast of Danforth and Main. All of them are non-verbal, and use pictures to communicate.
Learning tools for the girls include books, such as Cow Moo Me, a rhyming children’s book, but Livingston-Lowe found that not many similar books existed, so she took the logical next step. She wrote her own book for – and featuring – her students.
“There’s not a lot of books like this, so I started to make my own,” she said.
Beach Metro Deliver Me has a page for each of the girls in the class, with a small rhyme and a photo of the student delivering the paper.
“We’re working on increasing their communication and their awareness, that’s why they’re in the pictures,” said Livingston-Lowe.
She’s since created books about gym class and the library, and is working on one about swimming.
While the students may not be able to speak, they are mobile, and delivering the paper allows the girls to get out in the community. The class delivers papers on Balfour Avenue, while three other classes at McCordic cover nearby streets.
“We try to get them to be independent, to walk up to the house and deliver,” said Livingston-Lowe. “It’s really good life experience.”