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Make Sense Shop Flourishes During Holiday Season

The Make Sense Shop was in high demand during the recent holiday season, but that deter PACS students enrolled in the program from getting the job done.

The Make Sense Shop was busy during the holiday season. From left are: PACS students John Visco, Christian Ouellette and Mareah Terry preparing for work at the shop.
The Make Sense Shop was busy during the holiday season. From left are: PACS students John Visco, Christian Ouellette and Mareah Terry preparing for work at the shop.

The shop, a small café and gift shop operated by the district in cooperation with Camden Central, Sandy Creek Central and Altmar-Parish-Williamstown school districts, offers a life-skills job-training program for special education students.

The shop also helps students fulfill community service hours, helping many students graduate early.

Students are involved with every aspect of running the shop, including cooking, cleaning, stocking shelves and running the cash register.

A recent surge in customers during the holiday season tested the students’ work ethic and knowledge, but according to Miranda Cerone, a special education teacher at PACS, the students were up to the challenge.

“I’m incredibly proud of the student’s work ethic and commitment to the community,” said Cerone. “And I’m so proud of the amount of pride they have in the shop.”

According to Cerone, the shop’s busy holiday season was kicked off with a Thanksgiving meal, in which students served approximately 80 teachers and administrators and helped prepare nearly 60 pounds of turkey.

During the month of December, the shop also hosted two staff appreciation events, hosted a dinner for the Alpha Delta Kappa Educational Sorority, and were visited by local author Ben Kellogg, who was joined by Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.

The shop was also open for Light Up Pulaski, showcasing the dedication the students have for the shop and the community.