Paramus Public School’s Life Skills Education Achievement Program (L.E.A.P.) is innovative in its small business concept units and its aspirations to improve and develop meaningful education experiences for students with multiple abilities. Students in the L.E.A.P. program have created a number of small businesses in order to develop real world, daily-living and job skills. Examples include a “Floral and Favors” business, where students create centerpieces, floral arrangements and favors for events. Students take orders, price items according to a pre-established budget, fill the order and make arrangements for delivery. Mentorship opportunities with local business are available, giving students the chance to apply their learned knowledge.

Another example of a community-based small business involvement is a mentorship with Oradell Animal Hospital, where students help support the hospital by making dog biscuits. Students also bag these treats and sell them during the holiday season, donating the profits as a community service project.

The L.E.A.P. program also provides opportunities for students to learn office skills such as clerical/computer skills, filing, creating PowerPoint presentations, designing pamphlets and business cards, and data processing.

The goal of L.E.A.P. is to enable students to develop daily living skills that are essential for adult independent living, as well as allow them to meet their full potential as contributing members of society.

Information

Contact: Karen Peterson, supervisor of special education, kpeterson@paramus.k12.nj.us

Winner, Innovations in Special Education Award, 2015.

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