Glendale High School students motioned cars driving up Mountain Street on Friday morning into College View School’s parking lot for a joint car wash with their developmentally disabled counterparts.
The fundraiser for College View, a district school for 77 developmentally disabled students from 3 to 22 years old, provided a much-needed opportunity for the two groups of students to interact, said Glendale High School Assistant Principal Brent Forsee.
“I think our kids get more out of this than her kids,” Forsee said, standing with College View Principal Jay Schwartz. “The opportunity to work with kids who physically can’t do as much is a humbling experience.”
The event wasn’t originally intended to be a fundraiser, Schwartz said. One of the school’s service providers suggested a car wash would be a fun event to help the students’ development of sensory and motor skills.
But College View’s students wouldn’t be able to wash the cars well enough to charge, so Schwartz enlisted the help of Forsee.
“The Glendale High students wash the cars. And we just come and have fun,” she said, pointing to a young College View student splashing in the water.
Groups of students from the two schools worked with teachers and staff to hose off the cars, scrub them with suds and pat them dry. Students from both schools said the car wash was a fun event for a hot summer day.
“It’s been really great so far,” junior Pedro Escobar said while drying off a minivan with several friends from Glendale High School’s marching band and color guard.
Gina Crissman, a 16-year-old student at Flintridge Preparatory School, organized a lemonade stand and bake sale for the car wash. The event was important to her, she said, because her 5-year-old brother is a student at College View.
“He’s opened my eyes,” she said. “It’s on a personal level since my brother goes here.”
On top of the learning experience for the students, the money raised will help fund instructional materials and programs, which is especially important in light of the current financial times, Schwartz said.
The school receives limited funding because of its low enrollment.
“But we tend to be a very expensive program because of the needs of our students,” she said. “So anything we can do to help and have fun is great.”
Shortly before noon, a line of cars waited to enter the car wash, which cost $5. But the majority of people donated above the suggested price, Schwartz said.
“Nobody wants change,” she said. “It’s very special.”