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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Learning inside — and outside — of the classroom | Fenton Tri County Times

Photo: Hannah Ball
Hannah Ball, Staff Reporter summarizes, "Local businesses, like Alpine, Goodwill and Family Farm and Home, welcome the student."

Linden High School junior Kaitlin Dunn is gaining work experience at Alpine Marketplace, as part of a cognitively impaired program for students.
Students in the cognitively impaired program at local schools are learning not only in the classroom, but on the job.

The 13 students in the Work Based Learning Opportunities in Linden, Fenton and Lake Fenton’s Three District Consortium CI (Cognitively Impaired Program) spend a few hours a week at either Goodwill, Family Farm and Home, Alpine Marketplace, VG’s, Caretel Inns of Linden, Adopt-A-Pet of Fenton or a Linden elementary office gaining work experience, said Robin Hollifield, para-educator and job coach.

“At first we started small jobs here in our school...working in offices and libraries and recycling, that kind of thing. As their confidence grew, our district allowed me to go out and find businesses that would allow our students to come in,” Hollifield said.

The program began approximately five years ago, and was run by Special Education teacher Cheryl Heiss and Hollifield, as a way to help the students gain confidence and transition them from school to a job environment. The students, who are in 11th or 12th grade, work at least twice a week in pairs under the supervision of a job coach.

The students are responsible for dressing appropriately, having a positive attitude, being social, working independently and following instructions, said Linden Superintendent Ed Koledo. He said although the positions are typically unpaid, a few students have received a job because of the program.

Source: Fenton Tri County Times