Transition Skills for At Risk Students

Official Dosomething.org Project

The Problem

We work in a small, rural, blue-collar community with varying income levels; which has been impacted by the economy and automotive market. Milan is situated where three counties come together, therefore services are often contingent on the county the student is a resident of. Many parents have expressed interest in additional support for their children, but due to the rural layout of the city and the size of the town, the services are typically provided in larger communities where priority is given to residents of those communities and then offered at a substantial fee to non-residents if space permits. We would like to help students achieve the requisite skills to live independently or semi-independent living situation, obtain and maintain employment, navigate the community and use community resources. We decided to start this program, as the state requirements / guidelines for graduation require heavy emphasis on academic skills, which does not allow opportunites for special needs students to work on develop the requisite skills, as well as the develop confidence to be independent after completing high school.

Plan of Action

As staff working mostly with students receiving special education support, we recognized the lack of instruction in functional skills / independent living skills provided to students in the school setting. We identified a number of skills requisite for independence, identified 12 students to participate over eight 3-hour sessions during the summer. The staff (school psychologist, school social worker, and speech pathologist) will be volunteering their time to work with the group (1:4 staff-student ratio), providing instruction in community resources, mapping and planning, budgeting, water safety, kitchen safety and reading / following a recipe, locating information in the newspaper, and navigating the grocery store, along with unit pricing.

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