This program provides participants with readiness skills for reading, counting, and handwriting. In addition, they receive training in pre-vocational and vocational, self-care, daily living skills, art, music, and socialization skills.
Higher-level participants are enrolled in a program that provides the skills they need to apply learning and information to life’s more advanced situations. Courses include reading, math, computer skills, and language arts using a wide variety of innovative approaches. Class work extends to social interaction, as well as fine- and gross-motor skills.
This program emphasizes experiences in independent living, community awareness, health, and safety. Functional pre-vocational skills are taught in the context of the food service program that supplies a complete daily menu for participants and staff. The training encourages making choices of work conditions and tasks. Participants also have access to a specially-designed apartment within the Gateway building where they learn home maintenance and housekeeping skills, use of kitchen and laundry appliances, and social skills.
The Pre-Vocational Program encompasses many skills. By completing multi-step piece work activities during the work program, the participants acquire skills which make them employable. In addition, they are refining their fine motor, counting, sequencing, and packing skills. It is during these tasks that they learn to work individually and as a team.
Dorothy’s Can-Do Café is staffed by Gateway’s participants. Individuals who are in the program are given specific training and “on-the-job” practice. They move from bakery work to café scenarios focusing on customer service, store cleanliness, and filling customer orders. In the bakery, participants are trained to use measuring and cutting utensils, in addition to operating the appliances. They learn to make bread, rolls, cookies, cake, and items for seasonal holidays.
Participants are supervised and trained to understand simple recipes, use cooking utensils, operate machinery safely, and apply appropriate sanitation guidelines. Along with these skills, our participants learn social skills through interaction with peers, staff, and community members. While these skills include food preparation, candy making, and maintenance, they are also designed for employment of our participants in a bakery or kitchen setting.
Participants, with the input of their parents or guardian, individually choose to be part of the program. Their progress is checked regularly, but for many of them, it’s all about doing the work they enjoy. In the words of one participant who echoed the unanimous sentiment of her peers, “We get the job done!”
In the bakery program, participants are trained to use measuring and cutting utensils, in addition to operating the mixing machine. They learn to make bread, rolls, cookies, cake, and items for every holiday.
Featured Charity – Gateway to Learning Special Education and Training Center:
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