By Rori Bennett – Junior Reporter
The Wallaceburg Rotary Club has donated $10,000 to Wallaceburg District Secondary School’s Personal Service Worker (PSW) program.
Sussan Londry, president of local Rotary club, made a $10,000 donation to the program on December 9, 2020, while Lisa Zandbergen, a teacher at WDSS, accepted the donation on behalf of the program.
“With this donation, we can buy a mechanical lift that will get the students skilled prior to going out to the much appreciated community placements,” Zandbergen told the Sydenham Current.
“Also, bursaries will be given yearly, with the remaining money, to students who continue in a healthcare-related field.”
Zandbergen, a WDSS graduate, said started the PSW program at the school in 2010, with the first candidates graduating in 2011.
The program is equivalent to a college program, with the student obtaining a PSW certificate after graduation, she added.
The programs works with various local organizations across Chatham-Kent for student placements, including:
– Oaks Retirement Village
– Fairfield Park
– Meadowview Villa
– Fiddick’s Nursing Home
– Walpole Island Homecare
– Community Living
Zandbergen said in the first semester of the year, students are taught theory, using the Mosby PSW textbooks, focused on: dementia, developmental disabilities, caring for older adults and caring for young people.
In the second semester, students begin practical work in the lab at WDSS, learning: personal care, transfers and how to use the mechanical lift.
Zandbergen the students also receive multiple certifications, including:
– Acquired brain injury
– Gentle persuasive approaches through the Alzheimer’s Society
– CPR, First Aid, and AED
– Mobility module on transfers and using a mechanical lift
Throughout the 10-month program, participating students acquire approximately 440 hours of skills and training at placements, which sets them up to become a certified PSW by the end of the second semester.
“Lisa Zandbergen’s PSW Program at Wallaceburg District Secondary School is a much-needed program for students to graduate as frontline workers in our healthcare system,” Londry told the Sydenham Current.
“They are caring and supportive young people going above and beyond and caring for people at home and in the community. I can relate to this from personal experience. This cheque for $10,000 from Wallaceburg Rotary Club will enable the program to continue under Lisa’s knowledge in healthcare guidance. We commend you and your program for all you do.”
After 75 years in Wallaceburg, the Rotary Club will be disbanding by the end of 2020.
However, prior to disbanding, the Wallaceburg club is set to donate approximately $350,000 to a variety of community groups and organizations, including the PSW program at WDSS.
More details, here.