ST. PARIS – Students from Graham Local High School will participate in an Enclave experience at The Caring Kitchen in Urbana for the rest of the 2016-2017 school year.
“An Enclave is a supervised work training program for students receiving Special Education supports and services,” Graham Director of Student Services Emily Smith said. “The Enclave program provides a transitional step between school and independent work for those who need a higher degree of support or supervision while in the workforce.”
The students will organize the food pantry, prepare food boxes for those in need, sort clothing and assist the kitchen staff with operations.
“We love having the kids here to help support our community,” said Caring Kitchen Assistant Director Tara Jordan.
Graham Superintendent Kirk Koennecke said community partnerships are the key to sustaining relevant programming for today’s high school students.
“We work with anyone who has a need and who wants to develop the next workforce for their company or group. Place-based experiences for all of our students is a major objective of our strategic plan, Graham 2020,” he said.
Staff members Mindy Lensman and Danielle Kizer said they are excited to expose the students to different work experiences as they begin transitioning to post-secondary opportunities.
Graham has a group of students in an Enclave experience at the McAuley Center, supervised by Lensman. Tonya West and her staff at McAuley are supportive of the program and welcome the Graham students on a yearly basis.
“We are grateful for the community partnerships and the experiences our students are able to take away from each opportunity,” Smith said.