'Transition to Work' Breakfast Celebrates Growth

Lakota's 'Transition to Work' Breakfast Celebrates Student Growth
Posted on 06/05/2018
This is the image for the news article titled Lakota's 'Transition to Work' Breakfast Celebrates Student Growth

collage of students getting awards at Work Study breakfastFor many of the attendees at Lakota’s annual work study student appreciation breakfast, it is the highlight of their year. It’s a special event, not only for the students being honored and their families, but also for the employers who support the program.

“This is a great time to celebrate the accomplishments of our hardworking students,” explains Andrea Longworth, executive director of Special Services for grades 7-12. “The students change so much throughout the year and it is wonderful to recognize their effort and their growth.”

The district’s “Transition to Work” program is designed to help special needs students learn employment basics while honing their interpersonal and social skills. Instructional assistants and job coaches support the students, ensuring projects are appropriate for their abilities and serving as liaisons between the students and the employment site. This year, 75 Lakota students (up from 60 students last year) were placed at 23 local employers, with others completing their work study at 14 Lakota schools and the Central Office.

“The number of students grows each year, as well as the number of employers,” said Donna Haury, work study coordinator. “We’re grateful to our many community businesses that encourage our students through their support.”

Longworth added, “Our goal is to make the work study program as individualized as possible for each student, so if we don’t have the right employment match available for a student, we will go out in the community to find it or build it in one of Lakota’s schools or at the Central Office.”

Community employers participating in the program include: ABC Pediatric Therapy Network, Bagger Dave’s, Big Lots VOA, Bob Evans (Middletown, Sharonville, Tylersville, Union Centre), Buffalo Wings and Rings 747, City BBQ VOA, Cracker Barrel (Middletown and Sharonville), Faith United Methodist Church, Fitworks, Frisch’s (Bridgewater, Cincinnati-Dayton, Sharonville and Yankee), Kroger Marketplace, Procter and Gamble, The Edge Teen Center, TJ Maxx VOA and Walgreens (Liberty Township and VOA).

Lakota buildings and programs hosting students include: Adena Elementary, Cherokee Elementary, Endeavor Elementary, Freedom Elementary, Hopewell Elementary, Hopewell Junior School, Independence Elementary, Central Office, Lakota East Coffee Cart, Lakota East Freshman School, Lakota East High School, Lakota East Spirit Shop, Lakota West Candy Shop, Lakota West Freshman School, Lakota West High School, Liberty Junior School, Ridge Junior School and Union Elementary.