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Massapequa Observer - Schools

New Lunch Program Serves Up Job Skills

A new recipe for success is cooking up at Massapequa High School. Through a new collaborative effort, spearheaded by the district’s School Lunch Director Paul Heckelman, special needs students in the Life Skills program are gaining valuable job skills by delivering lunch orders from the school cafeteria to the administrative staff on a daily basis.

The Life Skills program, otherwise known as the “Community Career Connections” program, is designed to support students with severe disabilities to develop interest in potential careers while learning necessary life skills that will enhance their ability to live and work more independently.

Life skills students and their job coaches introduced the “lunch-to-desk” program to the administrative staff in early February. They delivered menus listing a variety of sandwiches and salads, along with instructions on how to place an order. So far, the program has been a win-win venture for both staff and students.

“We are constantly looking for new skill-building opportunities for our Life Skills students and this initiative is an excellent way to develop their social and task execution skills while boosting their confidence,” said Jean Castelli, executive director for Special Education and Student Support Services.

“It’s always a pleasure to see our students venture into something new to expand their skillset,” added Superintendent Lucille Iconis. “The staff has embraced the opportunity to have lunch delivered to their desks and we all look forward to seeing these students improve their skills in the weeks ahead.”