Cougar Pride, Take A Ride…On The Recycling Train!
Letcher County Central High School’s Community Work Transition Program is still in its infancy stages to assist special needs students properly prepare for and successfully join the workforce. An initiative called “Cougar Pride, Take a Ride… on the Recycling Train!” provides special education students a genuine experience in which they will expand their knowledge of: systematic approaches utilized to successfully carry out a job, while gaining imperative social skills to make a successful transition from school to work and adulthood. The basis of the initiative is to allow students to head and run a daily school-wide recycling project. 50 total special needs students will be divided into groups of five. Each group, accompanied by a teacher, will have the job of visiting a designated classroom per day to collect and properly separate the recyclable materials into bins. At the end of every week, the students will take a field trip to the county’s recycling center to donate the collected recyclable goods. During this trip, students will be able to meet and speak with the recycling center employees, which builds a link between those students and the community. Initiatives like this one, that seek to transition students into mainstream jobs, offer the opportunities to build and practice these valuable work skills and social skills. By stressing real-world experience-building, teachers, parents and employers who are part of the student’s transition can help prepare him or her for a meaningful future that includes a fulfilling job. This innovative idea will provide students the foundation in which they can build upon for a brighter and more promising future.