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MTA Takes Disabled Students on Tour in Adopt-a-Class Program

May 31, 1997

Two months ago, a group of disabled elementary school students from Paramount were getting ready to board a bus for their weekly trip to the pool when a malfunctioning wheelchair lift left them stranded.

"The bus came by and it passed us up," teacher Tom Grall said.

But instead of getting mad, the class wrote a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. And on Friday, the MTA made it up to them.

All 11 students in Grall's fifth- and sixth-grade classes at Lincoln Avenue School filed onto an air-conditioned MTA bus bound for Long Beach's Shoreline Village, where agency officials treated them to pizza, soft drinks and some valuable lessons on public transportation.

"All these kids are going to be reliant on [public] transportation, so we wanted to show them around," MTA spokesman Gary Wosk said.

As part of the agency's new "adopt-a-class" program, the students received instructions on how to board a bus, pay the fare and exit during an emergency. They also got to visit some tourist attractions.

"It was fun," said one student, Shaniquia, who enjoyed coloring an MTA instructional book in the ocean breeze.

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