Learning Independence Via Education

Parents and teachers agree that workplace readiness skills should be addressed as early as possible in school. This is especially true for students with moderate cognitive impairments. Recognizing this need, Jersey City (Hudson County) special education supervisor Kathleen C. DeGregorio and teacher Joseph Pollifrone have created Project L.I.V.E. (Learning Independence Via Education). This life skill training, linking students, teachers, parents, and the community, will take place thanks to a $10,000 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education.

After an introductory parent and teacher workshop in September, members of four local community businesses will each present mini-workshops to 32 students in grades 5-8. Then these students will visit each of the local businesses. The program will focus on four workplace readiness skills: basic copying and laminating, introduction to floriculture, shopping and basic food preparation, and tee-shirt imprinting. Finally a school store will be established and operated by the students for part of each school day. Each parent and teacher will make a commitment to work collaboratively to reinforce the workplace readiness skills in the classroom and at home. Ultimately, these real life job experiences will foster independent living skills.

For further information, contact:

Kathleen C. DeGregorio
(201) 393-0882