PREP Students Welcome Visitors, Learn New Skills
Students in the Bloomfield Hills Schools PREP program are now welcoming guests at the Booth Center on Wing Lake Road. The facility houses BHS departments such as Athletics/Recreation, Enrollment, and Human Resources, plus there are often package deliveries. There was not a building receptionist, so BHS Paraeducator Michelle Schwab came up with the idea to have the PREP students trained in that role. The plan was soon approved by the administration team, and the students began their new jobs.
The new role gives the students the chance to experience work in an office setting. “They are able to establish a base skill set that can be used later for non-district work sites and eventually paid employment,” explained PREP Teacher Russ McCall. “Having these opportunities on their resumes will qualify them for positions that they may have been overlooked for based on lack of experience.”
The students who are selected to serve in the reception area all enjoy social interactions. A paraeducator monitors their work and assists them in the many steps that are required of the job. These include following multi-step directions, initiating conversations, using proper phone skills, following verbal directions, and doing data entry.
As a result of this endeavor, people have a welcoming presence when they visit the Booth Center, and the students have the ability to increase their work skills, social skills, and independence. “We are firm in the belief that we should be using the strengths and interests of every individual student to help find EVERY student opportunities that will parlay to a lifetime of competitively paid work options,” shared McCall. “We have been overwhelmed with the positive support and encouragement that the staff and administration at Booth have given to our students as they learn new skills and embark on an exciting new opportunity.”