El Monte Union High School District Every Student, Every Minute, Every Day

by Anne Donofrio-Holter
May 14, 2014 • 370 views

Chalk Talk

Students Use Lowe’s Grant to Learn Painting Skills

by Anne Donofrio-Holter

Thanks to a Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant, El Monte Union High School District (EMUHSD) students with cognitive disabilities who are studying independent living at the District’s Adult Transition Center, were given an opportunity to learn the techniques of house painting from Lowe’s Human Resources Manager Virginia Lea Anderson and Department Manager Jennifer Flower as they painted an exterior classroom wall.
“The purpose of an adult transition program is to transition Special Education students from high school to the world of adulthood. With this in mind, the curriculum is geared toward providing the students with the skills that enable them to function independently,” said instructor Jennifer Braddick. “These are the skills that most people take for granted like working, paying bills, shopping, getting from place to place and maintaining a home.  In order to teach these skills, classes are community and vocationally based, meaning that the students learn by practicing while in the community and at work.”
“I believe that for many of our students with disabilities, learning the tools of a particular trade or profession in high school better prepares them as they enter an increasingly competitive labor market,” said EMUHSD Board of Trustees member Maria-Elena Talamantes. “Thus, offering a variety of Career Technical Education courses provides them with greater opportunities for independence and a fulfilling adult life.”
“Career Technical Education is an emerging priority,” said Superintendent Nick Salerno.  “Students in the Adult Transition Program are employable and eager to learn.  It is the role of the school to prepare them to live independently.”
The grant, spearheaded by District grant writer Martha Schirn, provided $2,065 in supplies from Lowe’s for the two-part project which also involves adult transition students painting individual panels to be installed at the District office as part of an outdoor mural on the importance of protecting the environment.
“Funds from this grant will enable students to not only learn painting skills but remind the school and community about the importance of environmental sustainability,” said Braddick.
For this part of the project, students will plan the artistic details, draw designs, create individual painted panels and then affix them to the wall as part of the overall mural.  The project is an integral part of the District’s commitment to “go green.”
“With schools pressed to fill fundamental needs at a time of budget cuts, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education expanded its assistance, providing nearly $5 million to fund improvements at more than 1,100 schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia,” said Anderson.  “Customer service and community service are core commitments at Lowe’s – and they have been for more than 60 years.”
“We want to thank Lowe’s for this grant and their assistance in helping our students learn employable work skills,” added Salerno.
Scott Harvey and the District’s maintenance department also provided assistance with the project.

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