Currently, 21 students, aged 16 to 21, attend the West Chester Connections school on Market Street in West Chester.

West Chester Connections, a division of Elwyn’s Davidson School based in Media, Pa., is a private school for students ages three to 21 with special needs.

At the school, students receive services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, psychological and vision services, positive behavior support and school health services.

Students are put in highly structured classrooms, with a low student to teacher and staff ratio. The school has art, music, physical education, yoga and other classes to engage the students.

Every year, around two to three students from West Chester University volunteer at West Chester Connections.

“Volunteering offers a rewarding experience and offers students a first-hand involvement in the field before graduation,” said Jamie Lynn Pierce, the Community Integration Specialist at West Chester Connections.

Volunteers can create activities and plans for the classrooms.

They can also work wherever they are needed and comfortable in the classroom, aiding the staff and teachers.

“Volunteers can work behind the scenes, helping to develop lessons and tasks for the teachers or jump right in and work hands-on with the students,” said Pierce.

If interested in volunteering at West Chester Connections, contact Pierce by emailing her at Jamie_Pierce@Elwyn.org or by calling her at 610-701-4329.
One does not need to be an education major to volunteer.

However, all volunteers will need a PA State Police Criminal Record Check, a PA Child Abuse History Clearance and a FBI Fingerprinting Background Check.

To learn more about Elwyn Davidson School, check out their website here at elwyn.org.

Elwyn was founded in 1852. According to their website, “Alfred L. Elwyn joined other forward-thinking individuals to change the way in which we cared for children who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Theresa Kelly is a fourth-year student majoring in English literature secondary education. She can be reached at TK780615@wcupa.edu.

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