Earlier this month Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick announced the opening of The Stable, an on-campus, state-of-the-art retail skills training store for special needs students enrolled in its “Prep for Life” program.
Calhoun is the only public high school on Long Island to introduce an on-campus retail store that is fully staffed by special education students.
The Stable, which offers clothing and school merchandise for sale, represents a unique hands-on learning environment that allows special educators and job coaches to work with special needs students to equip them with a variety of job skills to ensure that they become self-supporting, productive adults.
“It’s really cool,” said Antonio D’Aquaro, 17, of Bellmore and a student in the program. To learn retail sales, D’Aquaro added, “You used to have to go to BOCES. Now we get to do it at our own school.”
In the spring of 2012, members of Calhoun’s special education staff envisioned an on-campus retail skills training laboratory. That vision quickly led to initial discussions and the creation of the new retail facility. Partnerships with local and regional businesses provided support in the form of equipment, displays, product supplies and student workshops.
“We are really proud of how a group of really caring people did a really great thing for our students who need the most support,” Calhoun Principal David Seinfeld said. “The goal is to make them whole.”
In fulfillment of its motto: “High Expectations. High Achievement,” the high school has always placed a strong emphasis on ensuring that all of its students are prepared for life after graduation.
This year Calhoun has been chosen as the recipient of the 2012 Youth Transition Award for New York State, an award that recognizes high schools that successfully transition youth graduating from high school into employment.
“…we are proud of the work we do every day in our commitment to students with special learning needs becoming active members of the workforce, and we are honored to be recognized for our efforts…it is very gratifying to see how many of our students graduate and transition into meaningful job opportunities…,” Seinfeld responded.
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SOURCES: bellmore-merrick.k12.ny.us, merrick.patch.com