My students are some of the hardest working people you will ever meet. They are in high school and have special needs. Each of my students consistently amazes me by finding ways to overcome their learning barriers in order to succeed in their schooling. They truly enjoy learning and all have ambitions to go to work after high school.
My school is geared towards teaching life and career skills that will help promote the most independent lives possible for my students.
We focus on activities of daily living and a job readiness curriculum.
My school is located in Elmhurst, Queens. This was once called the "epicenter of the epicenter" of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. Nearly all of my students and their families have been personally affected by this pandemic.
Many of my students' families have been out of work since March 2020.
Some families did not qualified for unemployment or stimulus checks. This has caused food insecurities and other financial hardships.
Additionally, my students have lost their school work-study jobs due to our work-sites closing. My students have been very sad about losing out on the work experiences. Creating a school based worksite can aid my students in feeling a sense of purpose and give them the feeling of giving back to their community. Additionally, work experiences aid my students in their inter-personal skills and the ability to work as part of a team.
I would like to create a student-run food bank where students can pack bags full of food and laundry detergent to give to families in need. The families that receive the packages will remain anonymous if the wish by utilizing a pickup location, or if families choose, their child can take the package home with them. Donations from staff members and community drives will help replenish food supplies to be handed out.
Academic/life-skills that will be targeted during this activity are as followed: Looking at/understanding expiration dates, how to pack food into a bag, organizing food into categories, communication with classmates when working together, and vocabulary concepts.
The social emotional learning will come from giving my students a feeling of contributing to their community and helping those in need. It will also aid in their ability to work as part of a team.
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