Dressbarn Donation for Life Skills Center Recognized


Deer Park recently recognized a special donation project by Dressbarn which greatly enhanced the district’s vital Life Skills Center. The initiative was spurred by Terri Morolla, store manager of the Dressbarn in the Great South Bay Shopping Center in West Babylon and parent of a special needs child in the district.

At the Life Skills Center, John F. Kennedy students in the innovative Fun Club program learn life and social skills in a special simulated “apartment.” The recently introduced “retail store,” completed through Dressbarn’s generosity, enables the JFK students to learn shopping, money and budgeting skills using real clothing and food items.

Working with Mary Reynolds, the district’s administrator of human resources and pupil personnel services, and Lydia Vitale-Sweet, district manager from Dressbarn’s regional office in Centereach, Morolla facilitated the Life Skills Center donations, obtaining fixtures, supplies and other store items from a Dressbarn store in Selden that was going out of business.  

“Terri’s son will be a part of this specialized program as he gets older and attends the middle and high school life skills programs,” said Reynolds. “I have worked with her since he was in kindergarten at May Moore and he is currently in fifth grade at JFK. She is just a lovely parent who cares about assisting us in developing the program for all of our students, especially since she can identify with the need due to her son’s disability.”