Comfort Levels, page three: Norwich University emagazine

Crotched Mountain’s campus serves people with a range of developmental, functional and behavioral disabilities. CMS students have individualized programs and work one-on-one with staff. They are assigned classrooms based on age and disability levels. Of 120 students, more than 90 live on campus.

A constant buzz of activity, the school teaches home economics, science, music and art. There is a vocational skill center, library, gym, fitness center, bowling alley and swimming pool.

As an aide in the music room, junior Bonnie Jo Lange had a terrific week.

“The students have such vibrant personalities,” said Lange, a communications and English major from Santa Maria, Calif. A highlight occurred after a student picked a favorite song from a Disney movie. “We sang the song together while he smiled. It was such a great moment.

“I knew it would be a challenge since it was out of my comfort zone,” she added. “But it felt awesome to be useful here.”

Special education teacher Colleen Elliott has taught at CMS for 10 years.continue

Abby Young laughs with a CMS client during a Whiffle Ball game.

Abby Young laughs with a CMS client during a Whiffle Ball game.