The Hornet Hive Community Project at Hamilton High School West is more than a program for special-needs students. It is an altruistic effort helping the Hamilton community.

Each year, the Multiple Disabilities Life Skills Program at Hamilton High School West chooses a social organization that it partners with to “give back” to the community. Disabled students then work alongside general education students to accomplish that goal.

Examples of the projects include decorating a holiday tree in the library with ornaments made by the students. The ornaments support local non-profits, such as the historic Grafton House or Angel’s Wings, which serves disadvantaged children and families, by identifying items needed during the holidays. The Hornet Hive also worked on a project called Cell Phones for Soldiers/Quilt of Valor, collecting phones to donate to deployed soldiers, and making a quilt for a local soldier. Finally, the families of deployed soldiers were recipients of items collected through Giving Tree for Tender Hearts, a local group that collects various items for needy families.

Participating students develop a lifelong understanding of the importance of community involvement, and the concept of giving their time. At the same time, disabled and mainstream students learn valuable skills from working together.


Contact: Isabelle Sutton, child study supervisor, [email protected]


Recognized by the 2014 Innovations in Special Education program