All of Keshet's education programs include vocational training in classrooms and in the community. In preschool and elementary school, vocational education focuses on skills needed for daily living and socialization. By the time someone reaches transition (ages 18-22), Keshet's vocational curriculum hones in on professional and employment skills with hands-on experience in the community.
Before a high school or transition student heads out to work in the community, they spend extensive time in Keshet’s vocational skills lab. This space is set up for hands-on learning of the tasks needed to work at various jobs. Students punch a time card when they enter and wear a landyard name tag. Depending on the student, they may do office work, package items or even work on housekeeping tasks.
On January 29, we opened the newest addition to the skills lab—Keshet Quick Mart, a simulated store for students to practice merchandising with actual products in a real world setting. Where most mini-marts offer snacks, gum, batteries and drinks, Keshet Quick Mart offers so much more with cross-curricular learning in both academic and social skills:
Each task has individual task analysis to be self-driven by the student.
Introduces occupation-related words such as inventory, shelf stocking, quantity, product names and more.
Inventory requires counting and addition skills as does shelf stoking and item retrieval. Using a cash register calls upon money skills and finding the value of items.
Determine what is needed and where to find the items.
Students work close together and often as a team to complete projects.
Tasks are not static. Students rotate tasks and will experience in working in all areas.
While students are learning and completing tasks in Keshet Quick Mart, teachers and vocational staff are watching to see where students excel and what areas are of particular interest to them. Keshet staff will use these observations to find the best possible employment placements for students when they are ready to venture into the community.