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LOFT program sells plenty of pies to help students learn independence



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November 10, 2010 - Voting wasn't the only American tradition that was happening on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Good old fashioned homemade apple pies were being made by the Oxford LOFT program at Christ the King Church as part of a fund-raiser for the program over the course of Nov. 2-3.

The group tripled the number of pies that were sold from the previous year, going from 88 to 300, which amazed LOFT program leader Jeanne DiCicco.

"This is such a successful fund-raiser for my students in the LOFT program, not only from a teaching standpoint, but also from the sense of accomplishment and self-esteem they receive from it," she said.

The most rewarding part for DiCicco was seeing her students go through the entire process of making pies and put together a fund-raiser, as well as the understanding of how a business works.

"They feel that success and the bottom line is...the sense of accomplishment they receive and then the understanding they have for the program and how we are going to build the program," she said.

"This fund-raiser is huge for us because the kids will be able to fully experience things outside in the community that we are learning about in the classroom because we have the funding now to do that," she added.

Just like last year, they used the apple pie recipe from her father, Paul Pecoraro.

DiCicco explained to her students at the beginning of the year that they were going to be doing the fund-raiser and asked them to come up with a goal.

The students came up with a target of 200 pies sold. At the end of the day, they went above and beyond their target.

"That is what life is all about, setting that goal, achieving that goal and doing all that you can, even more than the goal you have achieved," she said. "This is huge for me and that was huge for them."

DiCicco stated that the biggest difference from last year to this year was the amount of enthusiasm they had for the event.

"We were so excited to do it this year...the kids were 100 percent in full participation and being we were at the church, it was so organized. We had a beautiful kitchen and a beautiful facility to work in," she said.

LOFT is a post secondary high school program made up of cognitively-impaired 18-26 year-olds. Students work daily on independent living skills and how to function in a community.

"My goal is to get them out in the community as much as I can so their independence level is much higher, so they can go from dependent to independent," she said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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