Thrift Store Lessons in Special Education

Education is a right to all. Everyone should be able to get educated so they can progress in this world. Some years ago, special education wasn’t something that was commonly known of or practiced, but seeing the importance of a proper education, special children today have been given a lot of attention in the matter.

The problem now is that while these children do get a good education, they still have a hard time actually fitting into the outside world. They don’t get jobs all the time and find it very challenging to move forward with the world. Keeping that in sight, one school has taken an initiative to make real life easier for its special students by introducing thrift store lessons in its educational program.

Helper’s Hand Thrift Store:

What do you do when you have three empty, unused rooms in a school? You turn them into a thrift shop for students with disabilities, and that’s exactly what Edgewood Transition Center decided to do. It took the hard work of 600 special students to get the rooms in shape and turn them into an on-campus work site. The idea behind this was to provide the children with an opportunity to take part in real life activities as most disabled children cannot take part in internships during their education. These thrift shop lessons for special children are supposed to change the way they move into the real world after school.

The store opens every month for a week in which the students take part as managers and clerks as well as stockers. The items displayed here are ones donated by community members and also by the teachers and students. This provides the children with a much needed job experience to help them in their future lives.

Learning About Working on an Actual Job:

Other than the fact that children get to work at a store where they can actually encounter day-to-day challenges, they also get to experience the job hunting process. They have to fill out their CV, which then takes them to a job interview. It is only after these processes that they get selected to work at the thrift store.

And if that wasn’t enough, the school decided to actually pay the students ‘campus bucks’, the amount of which is determined according to how many educational and behavioral goals their students meet.

The teachers at the school rightly believe that school is not everything for their students, they have to leave it one day and move into the real world. This transition has to be made as easy as possible for them and these job experiences help them do exactly that. Getting an internship while in college is one of the most important things for students. Education helps them, but it only goes so far. A student with a job experience has much more chances to grab a well-paying job than one who didn’t take part in an internship.

That is the whole concept behind Helper’s Hand. The school has done something very innovative by introducing this program and helping students learn real-life lessons by working at a thrift store. It is a system that works, and one that should be seen employed more in special education schools.

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