Anticipating the New Normal
THINC Works Toward Reopening
by Denise Sullivan
HURLEYVILLE– As businesses and municipal services around the county continue to reopen while observing state and health department guidelines, schools have been working to do the same in anticipation of the start of the new school year.
All 8 districts based in the County are working on plans to open for the new school year, some in September, others in October, and public health services will assist as needed. Most will be offering a hybrid weekly schedule that includes some days of in-person instruction with limited student numbers combined with some days of remote learning at home. Like every other public building, continuous cleaning is on the schedule, and new signage and floor markings to designate workspaces and traffic patterns are being installed.
Protocols for daily temperature screenings, including for visitors and vendors, must be put into place. Students will be grouped with the intention that each cohort will stay together throughout the day, minimizing larger group exposure. Preventive and protective measures that work to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus, namely hand-washing, mask wearing and social distancing, will be implemented everywhere in all phase four establishments.
At the Technology Hub and Incubator (THINC) at The Center for Discovery (TCFD), access to the building is still limited to TCFD employees. However, a cohort of adult residents has begun to spend time at THINC for day habilitation, a program that provides vocational opportunities that focus on reinforcing basic life skills, fostering social experiences and building a vocational foundation.
Otherwise known as the “Main Street Men,” this delightful group of gentlemen have been watering the outdoor mini-gardens, creating art, working in the accessible workshop, and making videos. Sam Rose, Director of Recreation, planned and organized workshop activities for the residents – rebuilding an outdoor vertical planter, assembling outdoor benches, and building roll-up tables, which are nifty portable wooden tables that resemble a tambour desk cover. The tabletop is made from linked wooden slats that roll out onto a base, creating a small but useful utility table. When rolled up, the table can easily be carried using an attached shoulder strap, making it a must-have for patios and socially distant picnics.
Julie Palmer, Digital Media Lab Project Coordinator at THINC, got the group together to brainstorm ideas for fun pictures and videos. She has been helping them create transformation photos and videos, where each resident decides where they “want to go” by choosing the setting or background that is inserted into their photos through the magic of green screen editing. THINC is helping these gentlemen access the creative arts, agricultural care, and safely limited community participation, enriching their daily lives.
Lastly at THINC, the universally designed FlexTable is popping up in new colors and sizes. Over the last year, THINC took a deep dive into TCFD’s flagship product in an effort to offer greater functionality, streamline in-house production and make the product more easily accessible for purchase. Please visit flextable.org to see what all the buzz is about, and follow THINC Technology Hub and Incubator on Facebook and Instagram.