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Thrift Store Run by Students with Disabilities

STROUDSBURG, Pa. — It seems like school just let out for the summer, but back-to-school shopping is in full swing. One thrift shop in the Poconos helps customers find great deals while helping people with disabilities at the same time.

It may not seem unusual for a teenager to have a summer job, but for Emily Baker, a 16 year old who has a disability, this is an incredible opportunity.

“I like working here. I like to work here,” Emily said.

Emily works at Common Threads, a thrift store located inside Stroudsburg High School.

The team is made up of students with disabilities, who with some supervision, manage everything that needs to get done.

Heather Nowosad is the Stroudsburg Area School District’s transition coordinator. She helps oversee the shop.

“We find that the skills that we’re teaching here, they are able to transform those out into the community and employers are now looking for our students because of things that they’re learning here,” said Nowosad.

The store helps the community in another way as well. You can pick up gently used school uniforms for just $1 apiece.

“You could buy a full uniform for $2,” Nowosad said.

You’ll get a great deal and students such as Emily will get great job experience.

“I like to do the register so I can give them change.”

They’ll give you change while you help make a change in their lives.


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