Valley Stream Life Skills Students Flourish at Summer Program

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The Valley Stream Central High School District’s Life Skills Summer Program is providing students with valuable skills that they can take outside of school and utilize socially and professionally. Based at Memorial Junior High School, the program serves students from the Life Skills program that is housed at South High School from September through June. The opportunity runs all summer long so that participants can continue to advance and develop various abilities.  

Participants practice filing, alphabetizing and other tasks that they would use in an actual office setting, and also engage in reading lessons, use the computer lab, complete problem solving activities and take on fun academic challenges.

Everything is collaborative, which is evident in the success of a business that the students operate together. Under the direction of teachers Nicole Bertrami, April Lewis and Emris Arthur, the group runs a shop that sells refreshments such as coffee, tea, iced tea and lemonade to staff members in the building. Students carry out responsibilities such as pouring and serving, preparing sales and handling the monetary transactions.
    
The group takes its kitchen ventures a step further through cooking and baking activities, and regularly makes meals that students can replicate easily at home. This component of the program also emphasizes safety protocol.

The program’s objectives are further reinforced with field trips to local restaurants and shops, where students experience ordering, making change and using proper restaurant manners. They walk to their destinations and learn about safety and social interaction.

“It really reinforces skills and is a really great environment,” Ms. Bertrami said of the program. “It helps with the transition back to the classroom and connects the students.”