Civilians partner with JSS

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The Joseph Sams School, a nonprofit organization providing special education and therapeutic services to children and youth with disabilities, recently received a $2,000 donation from the Fayette County Civitan Club.

The donation will enable The Joseph Sams School to provide vocational and life skills training to middle and high school students with disabilities who attend the school. These students have mild to moderate disabilities and range in age from 13-22 years.

The Life Skills/Vocational Training Program at The Joseph Sams School teaches vocational skills, functional academics, daily living, communication, and social skills to youth with disabilities, thus, providing them with the critical skills they need to be successful in society as they leave school and transition to adult roles in their communities and/or transition to post-secondary vocational/technical training opportunities.

If one were to stop by The Joseph Sams School on a Wednesday morning, they would quickly be enticed by the aroma of baked goods coming from the kitchen and upon entering the kitchen, they would be greeted by students diligently working to fulfill their order requests for the week. Now in its third year, the high school students proudly operate The UC3 Bake Shop. Through the various roles and responsibilities of the UC3 Bake Shop, including planning, shopping, cooking, marketing, and, finally, selling the items to the staff and students, the students of the Life Skills/Vocational Training Program are provided multiple opportunities to acquire critical skills which will allow them to gain independence as they enter the adult world. The bake shop has become so well-known for their sweet treats, the students have created a cookbook of their favorite recipes, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting a charity the students have selected.

The bake shop is just one example of how the school has been able to expand and enhance their Life Skills/Vocational Training Program to best meet the needs of their students. It is the faithful dedication and support of so many like the Fayette Civitan Club that allow the school to provide their students the opportunities for increased independence in the future but also help to ensure inclusion among peers and society.

“We remain grateful for the continued support of the Fayette Civitan Club as we work diligently to teach our students functional life and vocational skills in order for them to live as independently as possible when they enter the adult world”, said Amy Murray, executive director of The Joseph Sams School. “The students develop a true sense of pride as they gain independence and recognize that they are contributing members of their communities. Our ultimate goal is for the student to increase awareness and independence which will produce a happier and more productive individual, and the Fayette Civitan Club is helping us obtain this goal.”

Now in its 32nd year, The Joseph Sams School is a fully accredited, private nonprofit organization currently serving children who have mild to severe cognitive, physical or developmental disabilities. The JSS is the only fully accredited school of its kind in the metropolitan Atlanta area offering comprehensive services from birth through age 22 to such a broad range of individuals with disabilities. For more information, visit www.josephsamsschool.org.