District program builds self-sufficiency in special needs students

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Preparing a bulk mailing
Photo byRenee Leveque Wass

Local businesses benefit from low-cost services
By Pam Stucky

Students with special needs can attend classes in Shoreline until age 21 – but what happens after that? How does our school district help develop these students into good citizens and workers, help them become as self-sufficient as possible, and create an independent life style for their futures?

The Shoreline Training and Production Center (STPC) addresses those very questions. STPC is a school district program, led by Renee Leveque Wass, that offers a unique educational program for students with special needs in the district, as well as providing a cost-effective way for businesses to have their products assembled and distributed.

“The emphasis of the training and production center is to develop vocational and behavioral skills suitable for preparing the student for a successful experience in either community employment or, more specifically, a supported employment,” said Wass. “The program is used as an evaluation tool to determine when our students are ready for work experience in the community.”

Students at the STPC have been working with community businesses for nearly three decades now, since the program was formed in the mid-eighties. The program offers a variety of low-cost services, including bulk mailing (stuffing envelopes, sorting by zip codes, stapling, folding, and so on), assembling (packaging washers, screws, etc.), engraving pencils and napkins, making buttons, shredding documents, and more.

Student workers assemble and package items
Photo by Renee Leveque Wass
The STPC provides training to mostly high-school-age (15-21) students with special needs. All Shoreline high school students with special needs have the opportunity to access the program. Students receive incentives when they meet specific goals and objectives while in the program.

“Our students have benefited greatly through their participation in the program,” said Wass. “The students have developed positive work attitudes and behaviors, as well as learned important skills that will broaden their employment opportunities in the future.”

Austin's work is careful and precise
Photo by Renee Leveque Wass
Businesses that work with the STPC sing its praises. “Thank you very much for the amazingly fast and careful job you did with our bulk mail,” said Maygan Wurzer from All That Dance Studio. “We are so appreciative and will definitely use you in the future again.”

The program has been housed at Shorecrest High School for decades, but will move to the Shoreline Center from fall 2012 through spring 2014 while schools are being remodeled. 

Eddy is learning production skills
Photo by Renee Leveque Wass
The staffing and facilities for the STPC are funded by state and local dollars. Funds generated from the work students perform go back into supporting the program. Wass encourages area businesses to utilize the STPC services; anyone interested in finding out more can contact the program at 206-393-4315 or email.


1 comments:

Anonymous,  March 26, 2012 at 11:10 AM  

STPC students label, fold and stuff all of our mailings - they always do a fantastic job and are a pleasure to work with.

-Emily Sprong, Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Foundation

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