Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Themisan Online: Adult Living Program

Article and photo by the big one for his high school newspaper...  Ur, I mean Blog.

Themisan Online: Adult Living Program: What are those portables next to the school? Some people are not sure, they said things like, "Oh, that's where I hide my bodies!&...

What are those portables next to the school? Some people are not sure, they said things like, "Oh, that's where I hide my bodies!" According to one student, "It's just a different learning environment for the kids who need it. (A bit like us.)" Well, this is not wrong.

The portables are home to to separate curricula that are a bit different from STHS. These curricula are referred to as the Structured Skills Center (SSC) and the Adult Living Program (ALP). These are different learning environments. Though the Structured Skills Center is the focal point of the portables, the Adult Living Program is of equal importance.

The main goal of the Adult Living Program is to help different people with different issues become successful with basic adult tasks.
"The program is here to help students with various disabilities become independent," says Denise Gies, Program Director of ALP, "Some are already more independent than others." The program is for people ages 18-21 with a high school diploma and a disability (or two) to learn essential skills for living alone.

Here is something that may be confusing. Why would people go back into an educational learning environment to learn something not "school related" (Math, Science, History, English, etc.) when they are old enough to refuse? Let's pretend that, when someone is older, they could realize that the skills they need to live alone are... missing, because they may have never learned it. Also, if they have a certain disability that doesn't help them, they would need to learn how to deal with it. If they don't have these skills, they will not be able stay on their own which is is not advisable for an adult. Since these skills are required, they would need to learn them. This program helps people with that. 
The environment inside the portable is small. It looks smaller on the outside though. There is a kitchen inside where students can learn to cook meals and learn the proper cooking temperatures for the food. If they don't know this they can get salmonella poison or food poisoning. The kitchen also allows for extra work such as washing dishes, cleaning counters, putting things away, etc. The students here learn to wash dishes and all that at school. They also have washing machines and dryers that are used to teach how to do laundry and clean up after themselves, which is an essential skill for living on their own. This part of the ALP is very important too.
There is a class that is called My Money. This is easily the most important thing about the program. This class is about managing money and how to use it. It can teach them how to keep a budget and how to assure a steady amount of left over money. It teaches how to operate a cash register in case they would want to get a job as a clerk.
The students are like a big happy family. They all know each other and they all work together. They co-operate with one another and their friends. They are not troubled kids from Hogan Cedars they are nice people that need a little bit of support. Once they get that support they can leave.
"They attend because they want to," Denise.said, "They can leave anytime, after checking out." A student at ALP said, when prompted, "I like it here, it's cool and helps me a lot". When asked if they are glad they found the program they replied with, "Yes, I'm happy ALP is here."